Hamas Says Gaza Truce Will Commence Thursday

Hamas has announced the timing for the four-day ceasefire in Gaza that Israel and Palestinian terrorist group has agreed to. Set to commence on Thursday, this ceasefire will also see the delivery of the first group of hostages to Israel, along with the release of some Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

Hamas spokesperson Moussa Abu Marzouk made the announcement during an interview with Al Jazeera, confirming that the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel will come into effect on Thursday at 10 a.m. local time, which is 3 a.m. EST.

As part of the deal, Israel will be granted the release of at least 50 of the over 200 hostages abducted by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state. In return, 150 underage and female Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails will be freed.

The Israeli populace has largely expressed support for the hostage exchange deal. But for Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the war is far from over.

While making his own announcement of the deal, Netanyahu stated that the war against Hamas will persist even after the temporary pause. He outlined the three primary objectives of the ongoing conflict: the elimination of Hamas, the recovery of all hostages, and the establishment of a new administration in Gaza that will not pose a threat to Israeli communities.

He declared, “I would like to reiterate: The war is continuing and the war will continue until we achieve all of our goals – Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and assuring that the day after Hamas, Gaza will no longer threaten Israel, that there will be no other element that supports terrorism, educates its children for terrorism and threatens the State of Israel. With God’s help, we will do it and we will succeed – and together we will win.”

Weighing in on the issue, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said that he sees the hostage release as “a moral issue…that points to the [unwritten] agreement between the State, the government and its citizens.”

“All members of the cabinet, all the members of the IDF, ISA, and Mossad, everyone who is working on the issue of the hostages and missing persons – is dedicating all their time, soul and energy to this issue, day and night,” he added.

However, he highlighted the importance of continuing its ground operations in Hamas-operated Gaza as that will help “create the necessary conditions to bring home additional hostages.”