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Israel-Hamas deal delayed with no hostages to be released before Friday, Israeli official confirms
23 November 2023, 01:02 | Updated: 23 November 2023, 01:03
A deal between Israel and Hamas to release hostages has been delayed, the Israeli government has confirmed.
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A senior Israeli official has confirmed that no hostages currently being held in Gaza by Hamas will be released before Friday - a 24-hour delay.
A four-day pause in the fighting had been expected to begin on Thursday in order to facilitate the hostages' release.
Under the agreement reached between Israel and Hamas, 50 Israeli hostages will be released, while 150 Palestinian women and teenagers being held in Israeli jails will be freed.
In a statement, Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said: "The release will begin according to the original agreement between the parties, and not before Friday."
The Israeli government previously said that the first hostages to be released would be women and children.
While there will be a temporary pause in the fighting as hostages are freed, the Israeli Prime Minister has vowed to "continue the war and destroy Hamas" afterwards.
Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said that "there is no price that Israel aren't willing to pay" to bring back the hostages.
When asked about Israel's plans to "destroy Hamas", he said: "The IDF have already destroyed a lot of Hamas' underground infrastructure, and that Hamas military capabilities are getting weaker.
"One of our goals was to destroy Hamas' ability to govern, and I think you can now question that after this war."
Israel launched a retaliatory bombardment campaign against Hamas in Gaza after it carried out terror attacks in the south of the country on October 7, killing 1,200 people.
Since then, around 14,000 people in Gaza have been killed, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.