Efforts to secure the release of dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza are reportedly nearing a successful conclusion, with negotiations between Israel, the United States, and Hamas close to being finalized. The deal is expected to involve a five-day ceasefire in fighting.
However, Israeli bombings on Gaza continue, resulting in at least 15 Palestinian deaths in recent hours. The IDF has been escalating its activities in Gaza, with attacks on civilian areas as well as schools serving as shelters for displaced people.
The agreement on the release of hostages remains tentative as Hamas still holds 239 prisoners. Negotiations have not yet produced concrete results.
While there are reports that a ceasefire is imminent, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea of a complete ceasefire and has faced increasing pressure from the international community to end the conflict.
US President Joe Biden has called for the Palestinian National Authority to govern Gaza and the West Bank at the end of the war and has ordered sanctions and visa bans to be prepared against extremist Israeli settlers in the West Bank. However, there are concerns about how effective these measures will be in bringing an end to the conflict.