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Israel-Palestine war: Release of hostages in exchange of five-day pause

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Amidst intense conflicts and ceaseless bombardment of Gazan hospitals, global media outlets are hinting at a potential agreement between Israel and Hamas. This proposed deal revolves around a hostage exchange, with the release of five individuals in return for a five-day hiatus in hostilities. Further details will be explored in the subsequent report.

On the battleground, skirmishes persisted on Sunday between Hamas insurgents and Israeli armed forces, particularly in the northern regions of Gaza. Since Hamas’s offensive on October 7, Israel has executed a relentless aerial assault, claiming control over extensive territories in the north and west surrounding Gaza City. Despite these advances, determined Hamas resistance lingers in pockets within densely populated zones, encompassing parts of Gaza City, Jabalia, and Beach refugee camps.

Overnight, reports surfaced of intense confrontations between Hamas gunmen and Israeli Ground Forces attempting to advance in Jaaya, the largest of the enclave’s camps housing nearly 100,000 residents. Most of them defied Israeli evacuation appeals. On Saturday, Civil Defense Forces and civilians engaged in manual rescue efforts, digging through rubble in the aftermath of an Israeli strike due to limited equipment.

The toll of Israel’s persistent bombardment, as per Gaza’s Health Ministry, stands at 12,300 casualties, including 5,000 children. This grim figure follows Hamas’s cross-border rampage, resulting in approximately 1,200 Israeli fatalities and 2040 individuals taken hostage.

Contrary to reports from The Washington Post on Saturday suggesting a tentative agreement for the release of dozens of female and child hostages in exchange for a five-day pause in hostilities, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. officials later refuted this claim. Nonetheless, on Sunday, Qatar’s prime minister downplayed the sticking points, labeling them as minor, with practical and logistical issues remaining.

In the midst of this complex and tumultuous situation, the intricacies of diplomatic negotiations continue to unfold, navigating a precarious path towards potential resolution.

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