Temporary ceasefire promised between Israel and Hamas. What does that mean?

Israeli hostages to be traded for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains information about war. Consider reading it with a trusted adult. It’s common to have an emotional reaction to the news.


  • After nearly two months of fighting, Israel and Hamas have struck a deal.
  • They’ve agreed on a temporary ceasefire — a four-day stop to their fighting.
  • During this time, Israel is expected to trade 150 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons for 50 Israeli hostages.
  • The deal has been hailed across the world as progress. 
  • Read on to find out what’s next.  ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

For the first time in nearly two months of fighting, there is a glimmer of hope for those affected by the war between Israel and Hamas.

On Nov. 22, Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day halt to the fighting that began on Oct. 7. The ceasefire is meant to be accompanied by an exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. 

The exchange was supposed to begin Nov. 23. Shortly after the deal was struck, the exchange was put on hold until Nov. 24.

Qatar, the U.S. and Egypt helped make the deal happen.

It’s the first official pause in fighting since the war began on Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded Israel, killing roughly 1,200 Israelis, according to the Israeli government.

Since then, more than 14,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. 

Thick smoke rises above a cityscape.

A view from Israel shows smoke rising in Gaza on Nov. 23. (Image credit: Ohad Zwigenberg/The Associated Press)

What does this temporary ceasefire mean?

A ceasefire is, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, a period of truce during war when opposing parties agree to stop fighting.

Several countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia, welcomed the agreement, which has been in the making for weeks. 

Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said he hoped the deal would eventually lead to a permanent ceasefire and “serious talks” on resolving the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hamas said that hundreds of trucks carrying much-needed aid will be allowed to enter Gaza during the ceasefire. 

What will the hostage deal look like?

Israel has said it believes that during the attack on Oct. 7, 240 people were taken hostage. 

With the new deal, Hamas said it will trade 50 hostages for 150 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, releasing women and children first.  

Israel released a list of 300 prisoners eligible for release. 

It consists mostly of male, Palestinian teenagers who have been detained over the last couple of years. Many have been arrested for minor offences.

For every additional 10 hostages released by Hamas, Israel said it will extend the truce one extra day. 

What’s next?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will resume the war after the truce and keep fighting “until we achieve all our goals.”

These goals include destroying Hamas’s military capabilities and recovering all hostages. 

Hamas said in a statement that “our fingers remain on the trigger and our victorious fighters will remain on the lookout to defend our people and defeat the occupation.”

In the meantime, governments and other organizations are working on finding diplomatic ways to reduce tensions and bloodshed between Israel and Hamas.

 Is this news upsetting to you? Talk to a trusted adult like a parent, caregiver or a teacher. You can also call Kids Help Phone, or text them at 686868. Click here to visit their website.

Have more questions? Want to tell us how we’re doing? Use the “send us feedback” link below. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

With files from The Associated Press


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