Israel-Hamas hostage deal offers pause in fighting, hope for Canadians still in Gaza

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Published November 22, 2023 at 8:01 am

There is hope more Canadians will soon be able to leave the Gaza Strip, after Qatar announced a truce-for-hostages deal between Israel and Hamas that would bring a four-day halt in fighting in the devastating six-week war.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry — which had led weeks of indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas — said it would announce within a day when the clock will start ticking on the truce, during which 50 hostages will be released in stages in exchange for what Hamas said would be 150 Palestinians prisoners held by Israel.

The Israeli government said it would extend the lull by an additional day for every 10 hostages released.

Global Affairs Canada has said one Canadian is missing, but won’t confirm if that person is being held hostage, a possibility Washington hinted at in a statement over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly expressed hope that a deal would allow all foreign nationals in Gaza to get out of the war zone, including the roughly 200 Canadians who are still there.

No Canadians were along those on Wednesday’s list of foreign nationals approved to cross into Egypt from Gaza.

The latest Israel-Hamas war began after militants killed an estimated 1,200 people in Israel on Oct. 7.

Israel launched a retaliation campaign that the health officials in Gaza say has killed more than 12,700 people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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