Eight killed • The fighting and prisoner exchange begins tomorrow, and the time is unclear

The agreement to exchange Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners may enter a second phase, during which another 50 hostages and 150 prisoners could be released. The Israeli government announced this. The cessation of fighting, which is part of the agreement, could last for up to 10 days as long as Hamas releases at least 10 hostages each day.

Israel distinguishes between two stages of exchange. During the first phase, which will last four days, 150 Palestinian prisoners will be released in exchange for 50 Israeli hostages. Meanwhile, there is a pause in fighting in the Gaza Strip. Only hostages living with an Israeli passport or hostages living in Israel are eligible for the exchange. Other countries must negotiate with Hamas themselves regarding hostages who hold non-Israeli nationality.

If the first phase is successful, a second phase may follow, reports The Times of Israel. This should follow the same pattern: Israel says it is willing to release another 150 Palestinian prisoners if at least ten hostages are released every day, for a total of fifty hostages.

In total, the cessation of fighting could last for a maximum of ten days, during which up to 100 Israeli hostages and 300 Palestinian prisoners could be released. The Israeli Cabinet decides which prisoners are eligible for the exchange and exactly when they will be released.

The Israeli government said that after the fighting stops, which may continue for up to ten days during the two phases, fighting will resume in the Gaza Strip. Israel wants to “destroy the military and organizational capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad” in order to “create conditions for the return of all hostages.”

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