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Israel-Hamas deal on ‘hostage release’ is ‘breakthrough,’ Germany says

Germany on Wednesday welcomed the agreement between Israel and Hamas for a four-day humanitarian pause in fighting in the Gaza Strip and release of hostages.

“The announced release of a first larger group of hostages is a breakthrough – even if nothing in the world can undo their suffering. The humanitarian pause must be used to bring vital aid to the people in Gaza,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on social media.

The Israeli government and the Palestinian group Hamas have reached a deal early Wednesday for a four-day pause in fighting and the release of hostages.

Under the Qatar-mediated agreement, 50 Israelis held by Hamas will be released in exchange for 150 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, Israeli media reported.

The deal also includes a four-day pause in fighting and the entry of 300 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, including fuel, into the Gaza Strip.

The agreement also allows an extension of the pause and the potential release of more children and women held by the two sides.

With the deal yet to be implemented, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said early Wednesday that the starting time of the pause will be announced within 24 hours.

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