Israeli Official Says Hamas Hostage Deal Delayed Until Friday

The New York Times reports some details are still being worked out

The start of a short-term ceasefire to facilitate the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israel will not start until Friday, an Israeli official said on Wednesday.

“The contacts on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly. The start of the release will take place according to the original agreement between the sides, and not before Friday,” said Israeli National Security Tzachi Hanegbi.

The truce and release of hostages was initially expected to begin on Thursday after the Israeli cabinet approved the Qatar-mediated deal. According to The New York Times, some details of the agreement still need to be worked out.

The broad outline of the deal involves Hamas releasing 50 Israeli women and children during a four-day pause in fighting while Israel releases 150 Palestinian women and children it has detained. Israel will also allow more aid trucks and some fuel shipments into Gaza.

Initial reports said Israel agreed to allow 300 aid trucks per day to enter Gaza, but the Times said there is not yet agreement on the amount of supplies that would be allowed through. The report said Hamas and Israel still disagree about how many hostages are in Gaza, making it difficult to work out who exactly will be released.

Israeli officials published the names of 300 Palestinian women and children it has in jail, a list it will narrow down to 150. The idea of making the names public is to give Israelis a chance to appeal the release of individual Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear the war will continue after the pause. “We are at war — and will continue the war,” he said. Israel airstrikes continued to pound the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.