Israel’s Army Radio announced Thursday morning, citing the foreign minister of Qatar, that a pause in the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas terror organization would start at 7 a.m. local time on Friday (midnight EST), and that the first group of hostages taken from Israel on October 7 would be returned at 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. EST). The precise location of the release was not announced for security reasons.
As Breitbart News reported, Israelis had been told Wednesday that the pause would begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday and that the first release of hostages would follow soon thereafter. However, late Wednesday night, they learned that the deal had not yet been finalized and that the earliest day for a hostage release would be Friday instead.
Speculation on Israel’s Army Radio suggested that Hamas had balked at some of the terms of the deal, and that it rejected a demand by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross be permitted to visit the remaining hostages. (The Red Cross has been criticized for being less than adamant about hostage visits.)
It was not clear how these issues were resolved; more information was presumed to be forthcoming from the respective governments.
All of the hostages to be released are women and children. Israel will also return some female and teenage convicted terrorists, including at least one attempted murderer.
This story is developing.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.