Israel Hamas war has been going on for nearly seven weeks.
A four-day truce in the Israel-Hamas war has taken effect and exchange of hostages is expected to take place later today, mediator Qatar said. The four-day pause in fighting comes after nearly seven weeks of intense fighting.
Here are 10 latest updates on the Israel-Hamas war:
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The ceasefire began at 10.30 am IST, while the first group of hostages will be released by Hamas hours later, around 7.30 pm IST, according to Qatar's foreign ministry. The "first batch" of civilian hostages would consist of 13 women and children from the same families. The number would rise up to 50 over the four days, according to the deal brokered by Qatar and the US.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was in contact with the families of the hostages after receiving "a first list of names" of those due to be released.
Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails would also be released on Friday, Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al Ansari said, adding a list of names had been approved, without saying how many.
The accord was orchestrated by Qatar and the US and officially announced earlier this week. The secretive effort included tense personal diplomatic engagement by US President Joe Biden, who held a number of urgent conversations with the emir of Qatar and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the weeks leading up to the deal.
The agreement entailed a "complete ceasefire with no attacks from the air or the ground" and the skies clear of drones to "allow for the hostage release to happen in a safe environment".
Israel sounded sirens in two villages near the Gaza Strip, warning of possible Palestinian rocket attacks from the Hamas-ruled enclave just minutes after a truce came into force. There was no immediate confirmation that rocket attacks had occurred or caused any damage, however.
Fighting raged on in the hours leading up to the truce, with officials inside the Hamas-ruled enclave saying a hospital in Gaza City was among the targets bombed. Both sides also signalled the pause would be temporary before fighting resumes.
Israeli Defence Forces have launched an offensive in Gaza since 1,200 citizens were killed in a Hamas attack on October 7. Hamas had also taken nearly 240 hostages, mostly civilians when their operatives burst across the border fence and raided towns in Southern Israel.
Since then, some 13,000 Gazans have been killed by Israeli bombardment, around 40% of them children, according to Palestinian health authorities. However, they have said it has become increasingly difficult to keep an up-to-date tally as the health service has buckled under the Israeli bombardment.
International pressure has been growing on Israel to end the war amid a risk of the conflict escalating and spilling into the Middle East.