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Israel-Hamas war: Israel and Hamas close to deal to release some hostages

Israel and Hamas are close to agreeing on a U.S.-brokered deal that could lead to a five-day pause in fighting — the first sustained pause in the war — in exchange for the release of dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza, people familiar with the terms under discussion told The Washington Post. Barring any last-minute issues, the agreement would see an initial 50 or more hostages released every 24 hours and is intended to allow more humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave. A World Health Organization-led team on Saturday accessed Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, which it described as a “death zone,” and found a mass grave filled with scores of people, as well as signs of shelling and gunfire. Israeli forces are still present at the hospital after last week’s raid, but hundreds of patients, staff and civilians who were trapped there for days evacuated Saturday.

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