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Freed hostages and a fragile pause

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After nearly seven weeks, Israel and Hamas reached a temporary deal: Hamas freed dozens of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. And Israel paused its bombardment of Gaza.


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Over the weekend, Israeli families celebrated the return of dozens of the hostages taken by Hamas, after the militant group’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7. In exchange, Israel released more than 100 imprisoned Palestinian women and teenagers


The exchange is part of a fragile deal brokered between Israel and Hamas, with Egypt and Qatar serving as mediators. Under the terms of the agreement, Israel paused its assault on Gaza. Now the sides have agreed to extend the pause for two more days as more hostages and prisoners are exchanged.


Claire Parker is The Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief reporting from Israel. She tells us what it took for this deal to take shape – and what could happen next.


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