GAZA STRIP - Israel and Hamas have agreed to a deal that will see the release of 50 hostages being held in Gaza, as well as a four-day pause in fighting.

When it takes effect, it will be the first official cessation of the conflict since Hamas crossed the border into Israel on 7 October and killed 1,200 people as well as taking around 240 hostages. In exchange for the release of Israeli hostages, Palestinian prisoners in Israel will be freed and a temporary truce will allow more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, where over 14,000 people have died. The pause in fighting is open for extension if Hamas releases more hostages.

While the deal represents a "major breakthrough" in the war, still the "question looms of what happens next to Gaza", wrote Jonathan Guyer at Vox, with Israel maintaining its joint objectives of freeing hostages and eliminating Hamas.