What we’re covering

  • A truce between Israel and Hamas, the first in weeks of fighting, seems to be holding. An initial group of 13 hostages – expected to be women and children – are set to be released at 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), while an Israeli official said a total of 39 Palestinian prisoners will be freed in return on Friday.
  • More will follow, with a total of 50 hostages to be freed over the four days, while Palestinian prisoners are also due to be released in waves. Aid has begun arriving as part of the truce, with much-needed fuel entering from Egypt.
  • Israel’s military says it is ready to receive the hostages and the government has issued guidance on caring for child hostages. CNN saw a group of Palestinians stranded at the Egyptian border waiting to cross in during the truce.
  • Israel’s defense minister has vowed to continue the fight “forcefully” after the brief truce, saying he expects at least two more months of battle. Israel heavily bombarded sites in Gaza Thursday.
  • Here’s how to help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza.

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