Qatar’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday announced a temporary Israel-Hamas cease-fire will begin at 7 a.m. local time on Friday (12 a.m. ET), with the first group of 13 hostages to be released at 4 p.m. on the same day.
The truce will last for four days, the Qatari spokesperson said, adding that they expect the warring parties to adhere to the terms of the agreement.
Along with Egypt and the U.S., Qatar helped mediate negotiations, which was initially expected to see an exchange of hostages taking place on Thursday.
Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s national security adviser, said late Wednesday that the hostage release has been delayed until at least Friday.
“The contacts on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly,” Hanegbi said in a statement translated by NBC News. “The start of the release will take place according to the original agreement between the sides, and not before Friday.” / cnbc