TEL AVIV (CNN) november 23, 2023 —
After enduring nearly seven weeks of uncertainty about the fate of family members kidnapped by Hamas
, relatives of hostages were left with hope and a new set of anxieties after Israel and the militant group reached a breakthrough deal
on Tuesday that would see a four-day humanitarian pause to allow the release of at least 50 Israeli women and children.
While the exact names of the hostages to be released has yet to be publicized by the government, officials say some have dual nationality. Hamas is holding 236 hostages captive in Gaza, including foreign nationals from 26 countries, according to the latest figures from the Israeli military.
Hopes that the first releases and the pause in fighting would take place as early as Thursday were dashed when Israel said no hostages would be released from Gaza before Friday.
There is uncertainty over the reasons behind the delay, with one Israeli official familiar with the matter downplaying its seriousness, calling it a “fairly minor implementation details.” Israeli media have been reporting that neither Israel nor Hamas have signed the hostage release agreement, though it is not clear whether this should be enough to pause the deal. (from edition.cnn.com)