A look at the top developments from Israel’s war on Gaza:
- A temporary truce and hostage exchange between Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel will not start before Friday, Tel Aviv has said, according to Al-Jazeera. As per the agreement, 50 Hamas captives are expected to be released each day. No one said there would be a release tomorrow except the media,” Israel’s public broadcaster Kan quoted an unnamed source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office as saying. “… We had to make it clear that no release is planned before Friday, because of the uncertainty that hostages’ families are facing.”
- Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a four-day ceasefire with Hamas. Qatar, which has helped broker the truce deal, said on Thursday that the start time will be announced would be announced “within hours.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the war will resume after the truce expires, Associated Press reported.
- Muhammad Abu Salmiya, director of the besieged Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, has been arrested by Israeli security forces along with several senior doctors at the medical facility, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday. The charges against the hospital director are not presently known. Earlier, Israeli forces had reportedly arrested two Palestinian paramedics as well. Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in Gaza, was raided by Israel on November 15.
- A total of 14,532 Palestinians, including over 6,000 children and 4,000 women, have died since Israel’s offensive against the territory began on October 7, the media office of the Hamas-run government said. More than 35,000 people have been injured, according to Al Jazeera.
- Tensions are escalating on Israel’s border with Lebanon, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah confirmed that five of its fighters, including the son of a senior lawmaker, have been killed, The Guardian reported. Abbas Raad, son of the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc Mohammed Raad, was “martyred on the road to Jerusalem”, the group said.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that it was important that the conflict between Israel and Hamas “does not take on any kind of regional form”. He made the statement in his opening remarks at a virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit. “The insecurity and instability in the West Asia region concerns us all,” he said. “Our coming together today is a sign that we are sensitive to all these issues and stand together to resolve them.” Modi said that terrorism is “unacceptable to all of us” and that the deaths of civilians are condemnable, wherever they may be.