November 24, 2023 | Flash Brief

Pause in Fighting Begins Between Israel and Hamas

November 24, 2023 | Flash Brief

Pause in Fighting Begins Between Israel and Hamas

Latest Developments

A four-day pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas began at 7:00 a.m. on November 24 local time. The deal includes the return of 50 hostages held by the Iran-backed terrorist group in Gaza and the release of 150 convicted Palestinian terrorists by Israel. Hamas holds up to 240 hostages in Gaza after it attacked Israel on October 7. Hamas will release the hostages in groups each day for four days. The first group of 13 Israeli hostages has been transferred to Egypt before flying to Israel, and is expected to land in Israel by 6:00 p.m. Israel sent liaison officers to the families of the hostages included on the list for release, the prime minister’s office said on November 23.

Expert Analysis

“The pause in hostilities must not be used by Hamas and its backers to increase threats to Israel. All the hostages must be returned home to Israel, and Hamas should be eliminated in Gaza. The October 7 terror attack proved that Hamas is an existential threat to Israel. The fact that Hamas is holding so many children hostages illustrates its threat to humanity and the requirement that it be fully defeated in the wake of the pause in fighting.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Now begins a period of escalated psychological warfare against Israel combined with tactical gains for Hamas. For Israelis, that’s more than worth it to get as many hostages released as possible. The question is what happens next and whether Israel fulfills its promise to restart operations and destroy Hamas.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Fuel Deliveries to Gaza Begin

Four trucks carrying fuel and four trucks with tanks of cooking gas entered Gaza from Egypt on November 24 as part of the deal. “This was approved by the government of Israel as part of the pause and the framework for the release of the hostages agreed with the United States and mediated by Qatar and Egypt,” said Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) office in a statement. The fuel is supposed to be used for “essential humanitarian infrastructure,” COGAT added.

Israel Completes Preparation for Receiving Hostages

Israel completed preparations for receiving hostages and giving them support, including medical attention, the IDF said in a statement posted on WhatsApp. “After the initial reception and medical treatment, the released hostages will continue to hospitals, where they will be reunited with their families,” the IDF said on November 24. Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Services released guidelines for the soldiers who will transport the children from Egypt to Israel. 

Hamas Continues to Deny Red Cross Access to Hostages, Proof of Life,” FDD Flash Brief

No Thanksgiving for Americans Held Hostage by Hamas in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Agrees to Pause in Fighting to Recover At Least 50 Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief


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