US, Israel and Hamas in talks to reach deal to pause conflict and free hostages: WaPo

US, Israel and Hamas in talks to reach deal to pause conflict and free hostages: WaPo
2 min read
19 November, 2023
The Washington Post reported that a provisional deal may be reached to free dozens of hostages- in exchange for a five day pause in Israel's war on Gaza
Israel's war on Gaza ensues, as patients and staff have been forcibly evacuated from Gaza's biggest hospital, and dozens are killed at a crowded refugee camp [Getty]

The United States, Israel and Hamas are in discussions of a tentative agreement which may free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the deal.

As part of the detailed, six-page agreement, all parties would freeze combat operations for at least five days while "an initial 50 or more hostages are released in smaller groups every 24 hours", the Post reported.

Hamas took about 240 hostages during its October 7 rampage inside Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials.

The army's relentless air and ground campaign has since killed 12,300 people, most of them civilians, including more than 5,000 children, according to the Palestinian government in Gaza.

The newspaper said overhead surveillance would be implemented to monitor ground movement and help police the pause, as well as intending to allow in a significant amount of humanitarian aid.

The hostage release could begin within the next several days, according to people familiar with its the agreement.

However, a fixed deal has not yet been reached between Israel and Hamas, a White House spokesperson has emphasised, according to the Reuters news agency.

The US is continuing to work to get a deal between the two sides, the spokesperson said. A second US official confirmed no deal had been reached.

"No deal yet but we continue to work hard to get a deal," Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council, said in a statement.

Reuters has contributed to this story.