Israel-Hamas war, hostage release deal approved, 4-day Gaza truce

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A sign illuminates a square calling for the release of Israelis being held in Gaza on November 21, in Tel Aviv. Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli cabinet meeting to discuss the hostage release deal lasted about six hours – and topics ranged from the morality of the proposed deal to its battlefield implications, an Israeli official told CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.

“The cabinet meeting did grow tense and emotional at times, but ended with the government overwhelmingly approving the deal,” the official said.

Another government official, Gal Hirsch, told CNN that far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who had previously voiced concerns about the deal, ended up supporting it.

Only two people voted against the agreement, including far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Hirsch, who acts as a hostage coordinator for Israel, said he had told the hostages’ families early Wednesday the government “will do everything to bring all the hostages back home.”

The timeline for the first hostages to cross into Israel was still unclear, he added.

What the deal entails: The agreement would see the release of at least 50 hostages in Gaza, women and children, in exchange for a four-day pause in Israel’s air and ground assault on the enclave, according to the Israeli government.

The deal will also include the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners — women and children — held in Israeli jails, according to a Hamas statement. It would also allow the entry of hundreds of trucks carrying aid relief, medical supplies and fuel to Gaza.


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