Israel-Gaza war live updates: Gaza airstrikes persist as hostage and prisoner release
A deal to exchange Palestinian prisoners in Israel for hostages held by Hamas in Gaza would not begin earlier than Friday, Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s National Security Council director, said in a statement overnight. A four-day “pause” in fighting, part of the agreement along with the swap, will also likely not begin until Friday, an Israeli official told The Washington Post, although a more specific timetable could be announced earlier. The deal is set to allow the release of 50 women and children hostages held in Gaza, for 150 Palestinian women and teenagers held in Israeli prisons, and allow for more humanitarian relief into the enclave. Gazans told The Washington Post they were “happy” for a pause in the conflict “even if this stop is temporary.” The fighting showed no let up after the deal was announced, with the Israel Defense Forces stating Thursday they had struck 300 targets in the Gaza Strip over the last day.