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Temporary Pause Appears To Hold As Hostage Release Approaches


The temporary pause in fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israeli forces and Hamas appears to be holding as the 1600 local time (0900ET, 1400GMT) deadline for the start of the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas approaches. Thirteen hostages are set to be released today, with a total of 50 to be returned over the next four days in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

  • The pause in hostilities is between Israel and Hamas, meaning that rocket or gunfire around the Lebanese border from Hezbollah or Palestinian Islamic Jihad is still possible but should not derail the temporary truce.
  • There werereports in Israeli media that 15 mins after the pause in fighting came into being at 0700 local time, rocket sirens sounded in the Israeli towns of Kissufim and Ein Hashlosha near the Gaza border. However, this does not appear to have affected the overall pause in fighting.
  • The truce could continue for around three weeks. Hamas is anticipated to be holding around 240 hostages. With 50 set to be released over the next four days, that leaves around 190 still in captivity. Israel has stated that a single day will be added the pause in fighting for each 10 hostages released, meaning around 19 days could be added to the initial four-day pause.
  • However, as we noted on 23 Nov, there are widespread expectations that the fighting will resume after this period, potentially escalating regional tensions once again.

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