Palestinian children look out of a window at al-Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army in the northern Gaza Strip, Nov. 22, 2023. (Credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)


Biden presses Netanyahu to 'maintain calm' at the Lebanese border; son of Mohammad Raad killed in Israeli strike: Day 47 of the Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

Four people were killed in an Israeli strike on a house in southern Lebanon tonight, including the son of Mohammad Raad, leader of the parliamentary wing of Hezbollah.

Hamas and Israel have agreed to a four-day cease-fire that will see 50 hostages released and at least 150 Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails.

Initially the pause in fighting was meant to start tomorrow along with the first hostage-prisoner exchange but Israeli officials said later in the evening that this would not happen before Friday, giving no explanation.

Gaza's Health Ministry says that 14,128 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war on Oct 7.

00:59 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage on day 47 of the Hamas-Israel war.

We'll be back tomorrow with more news updates and analysis, right here at L'Orient Today.

00:53 Beirut Time

BREAKING: There will be no pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas before Friday, contrary to what the various parties initially claimed, an Israeli official tells AFP.

This source gave no further details, simply saying there would be no let-up in the fighting tomorrow, Thursday. The release of the first Israeli hostages, scheduled for tomorrow, has also been officially postponed, the Israeli authorities announce.

00:29 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden emphasizes "the importance of maintaining calm" along the Lebanese border as well as in the West Bank while speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening, the White House says, according to a report from Reuters.

00:25 Beirut Time

BREAKING: No hostages currently held by Hamas in Gaza will be released until Friday, announces the head of Israel's National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, even though the truce and the first releases were expected tomorrow, Thursday.

"Negotiations for the release of our hostages continue unabated". The release will not begin "before Friday", he said in a statement during the night, without giving any explanation.

00:21 Beirut Time

BREAKING: At least four people were killed in an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon tonight, including the son of Mohammad Raad, head of Hezbollah's parliamentary wing, a Hezbollah spokesperson confirmed to L'Orient Today. Three sources confirmed to Reuters that four people were killed, but gave no further details. The strike took place in Beit Yahoun (Bint Jbeil district).

Raad's son was "killed, along with other Hezbollah members" in an Israeli strike on a house in the village of Beit Yahoun, a source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Read more here.

23:00 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will continue to fight Hamas in the north and in the south of Gaza, which has only been possible "thanks to the heroism and the courage of our children," speaking during a news conference happening in Tel Aviv right now, BBC reports.

22:55 Beirut Time

Palestinians evacuate a casualty of an Israeli air strike on a house in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip Nov. 22. (Credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

22:53 Beirut Time

Ambulances carrying patients from the recently besieged and raided al-Shifa hospital are being held up at the checkpoint between northern and southern Gaza, the Palestine Red Crescent Society says on their X account.

At the time of their post, the ambulances had already been waiting for five hours to continue south, a journey the Israeli army has frequently recommended in spite of ongoing Israeli strikes of the supposed safe route.

21:46 Beirut Time

There is an ongoing dispute regarding whether Pope Francis used the word "genocide" today in reference to events in Gaza during a meeting with Palestinians who have family there, Reuters reports. Palestinians who met with him insisted that he did, while the Vatican denies it.

"When we shared the stories of the families that have been killed [in Gaza] he mentioned 'I see the genocide'," said Shireen Awwad Hilal, who teaches at the Bethlehem Bible College."It was very clear, the word genocide did not come from us. It came from His Holiness, Pope Francis," she said.

But a statement sent by Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni, in response to question texted by a reporter, said the opposite. "I am not aware that he (the pope) used such a word. He used terms that he expressed during the general audience and words that in any case represent the terrible situation that is being lived out in Gaza," Bruni's statement said.

Other participants at the Palestinian news conference concurred they heard the pope use the word genocide. "We were all there. We heard it and no one has a hearing problem," Hilal said when pressed by reporters.

Those who met with the pope say he was very informed about the situation in Gaza and the lack of water, medicine and basic necessities.

21:39 Beirut Time

Yemen's Houthi Rebels launched a batch of missiles towards military posts in Israel's Red Sea port of Eilat, the group's spokesperson says, according to a Reuters report.

Earlier this evening the Israeli army released a statement saying: “Following the report regarding an infiltration of a hostile aircraft in the area of the city of Eilat, an IAF fighter jet successfully intercepted a cruise missile that was launched toward Israel. No infiltration into Israeli territory was identified.”

21:33 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden called Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to thank him for mediation between Israel and Hamas, which as resulted in a truce, the emir's press office says, according to a Reuters report.

21:19 Beirut Time

Palestinians carry out search and rescue work on the site of an Israeli air strike on a house in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip Nov. 22. (Credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

21:16 Beirut Time

The hostage-prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas should be "broadened" and the "humanitarian pause" it brings should be used to work towards a "lasting ceasefire," the French presidency says, according to AFP.

French President Emmanuel Macron told visiting foreign ministers from Arab and Muslim countries that Israel's security must be "taken into account by everyone," his office added.

21:08 Beirut Time

If you're just joining us, here is what we know about the hostage-prisoner exchange deal so far:

• Mediation began shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack in southern Israel. Qatar initiated, hosted, and mediated the negotiations with help from Egyptian and American advisors. The deal reached last night was agreed upon by Israel, Hamas, and the US.

• Fifty of the estimated 240 hostages currently held in Gaza will be exchanged for 150 Palestinians detained in Israel. If this is successful, there is potential for a second round of the same exchange agreement — 150 more Palestinian prisoners freed in exchange for another 50 hostages. None of the hostages released will be Israeli soldiers. Around 40 percent of the prisoners put forward on a list of 300 by the Israeli government are under the age of 18.

• The exchange will be accompanied by a temporary truce. For four days, during which the exchange will be gradually carried out, Israel will halt all air traffic in southern Gaza and in the north between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Qatar's chief negotiator, Minister of State at the Foreign Ministry Mohammed Al-Khulaifi, said the deal means there will be "no attack whatsoever. No military movements, no expansion, nothing."

• EU Chief Ursula von der Leyen says she ordered aid deliveries to be stepped up during the pause in fighting. Qatar says the deal includes "the entry of a larger number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid, including fuel designated for humanitarian needs."

• Israel has no intentions of this marking the end of the war. In a statement, the Israeli government pledged to "continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza."

• Qatar is set to announce the beginning of the truce, with several reports predicting this will happen at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

19:55 Beirut Time

Israel's political leaders are expected to receive sometime this evening the official list of the first hostages to be freed from Hamas captivity tomorrow, Haaretz reports.

Israeli officials decided that families of the captives will not be informed in advance about the expected release of their loved ones. This is in order to prevent unnecessary distress in case they are not released. Israel's policy will change in the case that Hamas itself publishes the names.

Once the list of hostages is received in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ministers Gantz and Gallant will finalize the list of prisoners to be released in exchange, which will be submitted for Hamas's approval. Once both sides confirm that the lists comply with the agreement's conditions, the captives will be handed over to the Red Cross, and preparations for their return will begin.

As of now, Haaretz is reporting that 10-13 captives will be released each day, totaling 50 captives. The release is expected to take place on tomorrow, Thursday, sometime between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.

19:52 Beirut Time

Norway announces it will donate a further €40 million to help Palestinians suffering as a result of the Israeli army's blockade and bombardment of the Gaza Strip, AFP reports.

"The war in Gaza is causing unspeakable civilian suffering every day," Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre says. "The need for emergency aid is abysmal."

This news comes as Switzerland and France both proposed sanctions on Hamas today.

19:25 Beirut Time

Workers unload humanitarian aid at Egypt's al-Arish Airport earlier today, ahead of the much-needed supplies being transported to the Rafah border area with the Gaza Strip. (Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP)

19:22 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that at 4:50 p.m., it attacked five Israeli positions with "appropriate weapons" and caused "direct damage."

19:19 Beirut Time

The recent agreement for a four-day truce is "insufficient" to get the necessary aid into the Gaza Strip, according to several NGOs, emphasizing the need for a cease-fire, AFP reports.

"It's not enough, and it's certainly not enough in terms of human rights", said Paul O'Brien, executive director of Amnesty International in the United States, during a video conference in which Handicap International, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, Médecins du Monde and Save the Children also took part.

19:02 Beirut Time

Pope Francis met with relatives of Israeli hostages held by Hamas and Palestinians who have family in Gaza, in two separate occasions today, and warned against a "mountain of death" in the Hamas-Israel war.

"Let us pray for peace in the Holy Land. Let us pray that the controversies will be resolved through dialogue and negotiation, and not by a mountain of deaths on both sides," he said in a video appeal for peace in the world and in the Middle East.

Read more here.

18:42 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces in a press release that it attacked the Israeli al-Baghdadi site at 4:50 p.m. with "appropriate weapons." This position is located opposite the Lebanese border town of Mais el-Jabal (Marjeyoun district).

18:39 Beirut Time

Mashghara, a village in the western Bekaa, bids farewell to Farah Omar, the 25-year-old journalist killed yesterday by an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon. Farah Omar's father spoke to the mourners, calling on "all journalists to continue their work and pass on the truth without fear of the enemy," reports our correspondent in the Bekaa, Sarah Abdallah. Farah's mother, for her part, said that "Farah had fought the enemy with her words; they had feared her and killed her."

Photo provided by our correspondent Sarah Abdallah.

18:35 Beirut Time

Leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea accuses Hezbollah of "refusing to implement resolution 1701 and handing over control of the borders to UNIFIL and the Lebanese army in order to avoid a war that nobody wants," in a post on X.

He also condemns the Shiite party's use of villages on the Lebanese border as "launching pads for its rockets," exposing these villages to "considerable danger."

"The majority of the inhabitants of these villages do not support it," Mr Geagea stresses. The FL leader also states that there was "no consensus in Lebanon" on Hezbollah's weapons and role, and calls on the Minister of Defense to intervene to "take all necessary measures to prevent Hezbollah from using the villages" to attack Israel.

18:17 Beirut Time

The Swiss government announces it will bring forward a draft law by the end of February explicitly banning Hamas activities or support for the Palestinian militant group within Switzerland, AFP reports.

"The Federal Council decided to draft a federal act banning Hamas, considering this to be the most appropriate response to the situation that has prevailed in the Middle East since October 7," the government said in a statement.

"The act will provide the federal authorities with the necessary tools to counter any Hamas activities or support for the organization in Switzerland."

The seven-member Swiss government is formed by ministers from the four biggest parties. Lawmakers in parliament are likely to swing strongly behind the draft law, given the positions of the major parties. The hard-right Swiss People's Party, the biggest in the country, has been strongly pushing for a ban.

18:11 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claims responsibility for two new attacks on Israeli army targets in two separate statements on their official Telegram channel. The first was an attack on an Israeli military position in Raheb at 4:15 p.m. and the second was an attack on the al-Malikiya site, launched at 4:35 p.m. with "appropriate weapons."

17:58 Beirut Time

The head of the United Nations children's agency calls the besieged Gaza Strip "the most dangerous place in the world to be a child," AFP reports.

UNICEF's executive director Catherine Russell says over 5,300 children have reportedly been killed in Gaza since Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, accounting for 40 percent of the deaths. "This is unprecedented," she said.

17:41 Beirut Time

The head of the Mossad, David Barnea, arrives in Doha to meet with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and other officials and finalize details of the hostage deal. A four day cease-fire is scheduled to go into effect at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning as part of the deal, Haaretz reports.

Among the American officials involved in the negotiations instigated and hosted by Qatar were Secretary of State Antony Blinken, CIA Director Bill Burns, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his deputy Jon Finer, and U.S. Middle East envoy Brett McGurk, among others, according to a report by Reuters.

17:24 Beirut Time

More than 50 members of the same family were killed in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza during Israel's military campaign there, the Palestinian foreign minister says, according to a Reuters report.

"Only this morning, from the Qadoura family in Jabalia, 52 people have been wiped out completely, killed," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on the sidelines of a briefing by Arab and Muslim foreign ministers in London.

"I have the list of the names, 52 of them, they were wiped out completely from grandfather to grandchildren."

17:21 Beirut Time

Around 100 people mobilized today at 3 p.m. near the Egyptian embassy in Beirut to protest against “Egypt’s complicity in the siege and massacre” of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel, Yara Malka reports for L'Orient Today.

The protestors raised signs including “united in the streets against [Israeli] occupation" as well as calls for unity against Arab governments normalizing relations with Israel. They chanted “Sisi, you traitor and coward” and “keep resisting; Gaza is free and will not compromise.”

The demonstration was organized to “announce support for Palestinian resistance, to condemn the Egyptian government’s complicity in the siege on Gaza, and to press for the opening of Rafah crossing to allow aid and evacuate the wounded.”

The front “Free Palestine” organized the protest to “confront normalization and colonization in the region,” which "[is assisted by] collusion of systems which obstruct the people’s desire for liberation.”

17:09 Beirut Time

The United States opposes the displacement of Palestinians from the battered Gaza Strip to another country, its special envoy for humanitarian affairs in the Middle East David Satterfield tells Lebanese broadcaster al-Jadeed, Reuters reports.

Satterfield says Gazans displaced to the strip's south by Israel's military operations "must be allowed to return to homes in the north as soon as possible." He says the U.S. "wants to see Israel succeed in its campaign," and warns Lebanese Hezbollah to halt missile fire on Israel if it wants to avoid an escalation. Earlier today there were reports from "official sources" that Hezbollah would adhere to the same cease-fire agreement at its southern border with Israel, so long as Israel does the same.

16:55 Beirut Time

Deputy Head of Hamas's Political Bureau Musa Abu Marzouk announces that the cease-fire, as part of the deal for releasing hostages, will commence Thursday at 10 A.M.

16:30 Beirut Time

Hezbollah says in a statement that its fighters targeted "an Israeli force" positioned in Hanita forest, facing the Lebanese border village of Labbouneh, with "appropriate weapons" at 3:50 p.m., and that they achieved "confirmed casualties."

16:08 Beirut Time

The Yemeni Naval Forces release a statement on Hezbollah's official Telegram channel saying they will continue their military operations against Israeli "ships and interests" until aggression against Gaza stops.

The statement also mentions the following:

"We reaffirm that our operations target ships flying the Israeli flag, managed by Israeli companies, or owned by Israeli individuals. We urge all passing ships in the Red Sea to avoid sailing near Israeli ships and to keep their identification systems on. We warn all companies and traders against shipping their goods or engaging in business with Israeli ships. We caution that any military unit protecting Israeli ships will be a legitimate target for our operations."

15:42 Beirut Time

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is currently on an official visit to Lebanon to see Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Abdollahian arrived in Beirut earlier today and is set to meet caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati later today at 6pm.

14:49 Beirut Time

Hezbollah said, in a statement, that its fighters "targeted at 02:15 p.m....the [Israeli] Metat base near the [southern Lebanese] town of Rmeish, achieving direct hits."

14:47 Beirut Time

The release of the Israeli hostages is scheduled to begin on Thursday at 5 a.m., according to Haaretz, 24 hours after Israel published the list of Palestinian prisoners who could be released. This delay allows the Israeli population to oppose the agreement and appeal it in court. The list of 300 Palestinian prisoners is available in Hebrew on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Justice. According to Haaretz, the list includes 123 minors under the age of 18.

The Israel-Hamas deal finalized early this morning entails freeing 50 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners and will also be repeated later this month, a Palestinian official told Reuters.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that would mean 100 of the estimated 240 hostages in Gaza, seized during the Oct. 7 attack, would be released by the end of the month.

In return, Israel would free a total of 300 Palestinian prisoners in the two exchanges - a number corresponding to the list of women and young male inmates it published today as candidates.

14:40 Beirut Time

Hezbollah fighters targeted at "01:15 Israeli enemy soldiers' position near the [Israeli] Zarit military base with Volcano rockets, causing direct hits," the party said in a statement.

In another statement, Hezbollah stated that its fighters "targeted the location of Ramieh at 01:35 p.m....using appropriate weapons and achieved direct hits," without providing further details.

13:53 Beirut Time

Family members of the hostages being held in Gaza said that they are "very happy" following the news of a four-day truce that would see 50 hostages released, AFP reports.

"We are very happy that a partial release is pending," the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said in a statement. "As of now, we don't know exactly who will be released when."

13:34 Beirut Time

Six Palestinians in the West Bank city of Tulkarem were killed during an Israeli raid, the Palestinian Authority said according to AFP.

The Red Crescent also said that a 26-year-old woman, who was "beaten by the Israeli army," was transferred to a local hospital.

Read the full report here.

13:17 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced the death of one of its soldiers, Mohammed Awadah, "from the town of Al-Khader in the Bekaa, who attained martyrdom on the path to Jerusalem," without providing further information. 79 Hezbollah fighters have been killed since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Hezbollah announced in another statement that its fighters "targeted at 12:25 p.m....the [Israeli] site of Bayadah Blida, achieving direct hits."

In a third statement, Hezbollah announced that its fighters targeted at 12:50 p.m....the [Israeli] Yiftah Barracks and caused direct hits."‏

13:03 Beirut Time

Hezbollah fighters "targeted at 12:15 p.m....the positions of Israeli soldiers and vehicles around the Raheb outpost with Volcano rockets, resulting in direct hits and casualties," the party said in a statement.

12:19 Beirut Time

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed on Telegram to have targeted American positions in Iraq, in the area near the Mosul Dam, in the village of Mehyaouir, during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday at 01:27 am.

12:17 Beirut Time

The Hamas press office announced the details of the humanitarian truce agreement with Israel on Telegram at 10:57 a.m. on Wednesday. "After long days of negotiations, we announce, that we have reached an agreement on a humanitarian truce (a temporary cease-fire) for four days, thanks to the appreciated Qatari and Egyptian efforts," Hamas said in the statement.

The statement refers to a "bilateral cease-fire" and "the cessation of all military actions by the occupying army in all areas of the Gaza Strip."

The agreement also stipulates, according to Hamas, "an increase in the number of truckloads of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, relief supplies and fuel entering all areas of the Gaza Strip."

In addition, "50 hostages of the occupier (Israelis) will be released, including women and children under 19, in exchange for the release of 150 women and children under 19 of our people in occupation prisons." The agreement also refers to "the cessation of Israeli aviation in the south (of Gaza) for four days and the interruption of Israeli aviation in the north (of Gaza) for six hours a day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.."

Finally, Hamas specifies that during the truce, "the freedom of movement of people will be respected, so that they are not exposed and can move from the northern sector to the south, in particular, on Salaheddine Street."

11:53 Beirut Time

According to reporting done by Politico, some officials in the Biden administration are viewing the recent temporary truce between Hamas and Israel as vindication of their policy towards the war.

Despite increasing demand from within his own party, US President Joe Biden has remained firm in his support for Israel and its stated goal of destroying Hamas following the Oct. 7 attack.

However, the administration was not ignorant of the amount of devastation in Gaza with some officials telling Politico that a temporary cease-fire was necessary due to the sheer devastation taking place in the besieged enclave.

Officials also remain concerned about what Israel is going to do following the end of the war as there is little indication that the Israeli government has a coherent plan. There is also little hope that this temporary truce will turn into a longer cease-fire. Some officials expressed concern that journalists might get greater access into Gaza where they would shed further light on the level of destruction there and start to sway public opinion away from Israel and more towards Gaza.

The article has been widely shared on social media with some expressing criticism of the administration's handling of the war thus far.

11:21 Beirut Time

Israeli warplanes raided the west of the town of Zibqin and the al-Bayyadah area in the town of Shama, and the sounds of the airstrikes were loudly heard in Sour, local media reported and locals in the region confirmed to L'Orient Today.

Smoke plumes rising from the targeted area were also observed, residents of Sour confirmed to L'Orient Today. Al-Manar, the Hezbollah-affiliated broadcaster, reported that Israeli warplanes have conducted multiple airstrikes targeting the outskirts of Naqoura, Mjadelzoon, and Shihin in southern Lebanon. These attacks included the use of phosphorus shells in the Labouneh area of Naqoura, according to Al-Manar.

UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti told L'Orient Today that, at 10:30 a.m., UNIFIL observed airstrikes at Naqoura, but that at the moment "all the areas of operation of the UNIFIL are clear," from any Israeli airstrikes.

10:44 Beirut Time

The pro-Iranian TV channel Al-Mayadeen paid a final tribute this Wednesday morning to its two journalists who were killed in south Lebanon by an Israeli bombing. Farah Omar, 25 years old, and Rabih Maamari, 39 years old, were killed while they were covering the latest developments in southern Lebanon. At the square of the pan-Arab Al-Mayadeen channel in Bir Hassan, hundreds of relatives and colleagues gathered in front of the coffins of the two killed journalists, in an atmosphere of sadness and anger, but also of prayer, reported L'Orient Today's photographer on-site.

Immediately after the ceremony, the bodies of the deceased were taken by ambulance, Farah Omar's to Machghara and Rabih Maamari's to the southern suburb of Beirut.

(Photo: Mohammed Yassin/L'Orient Today)

10:31 Beirut Time

According to "official information," obtained by the daily Nida' Al-Watan, the agreement between Hamas and Israel in Gaza "will apply to southern Lebanon, and Hezbollah will adhere to it, on the condition that Israel also adheres to it. "

According to this information, "the need to reach a truce that allows residents of the border area to harvest olives and grow tobacco was at the center of previous discussions (between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah)," but the rising tensions on the border had taken away this prospect.

10:29 Beirut Time

A vigil at Al-Mayadeen's Beirut headquarters for the two Al-Mayadeen journalists, Farah Omar and Rabih al-Maamari, and civilian Hussein Akil who were all killed in an Israeli strike on their position yesterday while they were reporting in southern Lebanon.

(Photo: Mohammed Yassin/L'Orient Today)

10:19 Beirut Time

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed on Wednesday the foreign-mediated humanitarian deal between Hamas rivals and Israel in the Gaza Strip, and called for wider solutions to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Reuters reported.

Abbas's administration, based in the occupied West Bank, "appreciate(s) the Qatari-Egyptian (mediation) effort," wants an extended truce with Israel and "the implementation of a political solution based on international legitimacy," a social media post by senior Palestinian aide Hussein Al-Sheikh said, according to Reuters.

10:17 Beirut Time

Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, landed in Beirut Wednesday morning as part of a regional tour after Hamas and Israel agreed on a four-day truce and prisoner swap, Nournews, an Iranian news outlet affiliated with the country's top security services, reported, according to Reuters.

"The visit is in line with Iran’s diplomatic efforts to halt the Zionist regime’s attacks on Gaza, lift the blockade and send humanitarian aid to the oppressed people of Gaza," Nournews said.

10:06 Beirut Time

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron on Wednesday welcomed the agreement between Hamas and Israel for a temporary truce in Gaza and the release of hostages, calling it a "crucial step."

“This agreement is a crucial step in providing relief to the families of the hostages and resolving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” David Cameron said in a statement. The head of British diplomacy called on “all parties to ensure that the agreement is respected in its entirety.”

10:03 Beirut Time

The Israeli Ministry of Justice published Wednesday morning, in Hebrew and on its website, the list of 300 Palestinian prisoners who are candidates for release as part of the hostage agreement, reports Haaretz. For 24 hours, the public can object and file a petition against it with the High Court.

At this point, Israel has committed to releasing approximately 150 prisoners in exchange for the release of 50 Israeli hostages, but according to the agreement with Hamas, the organization will attempt to locate and free up to 50 additional hostages during the days of the ceasefire. In such a case, Israel will release additional security prisoners in return, according to the same numerical ratio.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet member Benny Gantz were authorized to decide which prisoners to release. They were also authorized to determine the end date of the ceasefire – taking into account the possibility that Hamas would release additional hostages – provided that the total duration did not exceed ten days.

09:59 Beirut Time

Russia "welcomes" the agreement on a humanitarian truce in Gaza announced by Israel and Hamas, Russian diplomatic spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, cited by AFP.

“Moscow welcomes the agreement between Israel and Hamas on a four-day humanitarian pause,” declared Zakarova, quoted by Russian news agencies, stressing that “this is exactly what Russia called for from the beginning of the escalation of the conflict."

During the virtual BRICS summit organized this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin considered that Washington's desire to "monopolize the role of mediator" in this new chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "counterproductive," according to quotes quoted by the pro-Russian site RT.

09:55 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday he was “extraordinarily satisfied” with the upcoming release of hostages kidnapped in Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, under an agreement to which Israel gave the green light on Wednesday.

“I am extraordinarily pleased that many of these brave souls... will be reunited with their families once this agreement is fully implemented,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. relied on by AFP.

09:53 Beirut Time

At least five fighters from a pro-Iran group were killed early Wednesday in Iraq by American strikes targeting two sites south of the capital Baghdad, two security sources told AFP.

Five members of the Hezbollah Brigades were killed by an aerial bombardment in the Jurf al-Sakhr sector,” an official within the Iraqi security services, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP. An official from Hashd al-Shaabi, a coalition of ex-paramilitaries integrated into the regular forces, provided a similar assessment.

09:51 Beirut Time

China on Wednesday welcomed the agreement reached under the mediation of Qatar for a humanitarian truce in Gaza in exchange for the release of hostages kidnapped in Israel by Hamas militants.

“We welcome the temporary ceasefire agreement between the parties concerned and hope that it will help ease the humanitarian crisis, contribute to de-escalation and reduce tensions,” a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy, Mao Ning told the press.

09:49 Beirut Time

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “warmly welcomed” the agreement on a humanitarian truce in Gaza and the release of hostages kidnapped in Israel by Hamas militants, calling for “use of this pause” to “step up” humanitarian aid.

09:47 Beirut Time

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was visited Wednesday morning by Khalil Al-Hayya, head of Arab and Islamic relations and deputy head of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, in the presence of a member of the Hamas leadership, Osama Hamdan. The meeting focused on the latest developments since Oct. 7, including "assessing the positions of the resistance fronts, particularly in the Gaza Strip," according to the statement published by Hezbollah on Telegram. The partners stressed "the importance of continuing work and coordination with the aim of achieving victory."

(Photo: Hezbollah press bureau)

09:41 Beirut Time

There will also be an increase in aid to Gaza during these four days.

Hundreds of trucks are expected to cross into the besieged Palestinian enclave, significantly more than the trickle that has flowed up until this point.

With many supplies running out – or having done so already – this aid is desperately needed for the over two million people living in the strip.

09:37 Beirut Time

During the four-day truce, Israel will have no air traffic above southern Gaza and will give a six-hour window – from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. – without anything flying above northern Gaza each day.

This will allow people looking to flee from the North to the South an opportunity to do so, however, no one will be allowed to return from the South to the North at this current time.

09:33 Beirut Time

As previously reported, the agreement will see 50 hostages released from Gaza gradually over the four days. along with Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons.

There would still be around 190 hostages remaining once the four days have passed.

The Israelis have also said that for every extra 10 hostages that are released, the cease-fire would be extended by one day. It is not clear if more Palestinian prisoners would be released as a result as well.

There is no talk about releasing Israeli soldiers who are being held in Gaza.

The first round of hostages being released is expected on Thursday, Nov. 23.

09:27 Beirut Time

When it comes to the language of the agreement, it is being called a "truce" rather than a "cease-fire" as it is only a short-term agreement rather than the longer timespan of a cease-fire.

However, despite the temporary cessation of fighting for four days, this is renewable and could be extended under the right circumstances.

An extension, though, is not very likely as Israel, more so Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has consistently stated that there will be no cease-fire until they have uprooted Hamas from Gaza.

09:21 Beirut Time

Last night, the Israeli cabinet agreed to a four-day cease-fire that would see 50 hostages gradually released from Gaza during that time.

The agreement will also see Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons released as part of the prisoner swap.

For more on the temporary truce, check out this story by Olivia Le Poidevin here.

09:05 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us for day 47 of the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.