NEW YORK - Israeli authorities and Hamas have reportedly agreed to a multiple-day ceasefire and the release of dozens of civilians held hostage in Gaza in exchange for the release of scores of Palestinian prisoners.

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch said: “Taking hostages is a war crime and Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups need to release all of them, immediately. But blocking the delivery of life-saving aid and fuel until the release of hostages is a war crime that has put the lives of 2.2 million people at risk. Human beings are not bargaining chips. Ceasefire or not, unlawful attacks should cease.”