The agreed four-day pause of the Israel-Hamas war is scheduled to start at 7 am on Friday. The captives will be released at 4 pm, according to the Qatari foreign ministry. Israeli authorities maintained that no Gaza captives will be freed before Friday.

Hamas on Wednesday announced that a humanitarian ceasefire deal has been reached with Israel. The announcement followed the mediation efforts by Qatar and Egypt. The ceasefire includes the cessation of military actions by the Israeli occupation forces across the entire Gaza Strip.

A major component of the agreement involves the uninterrupted passage of aid trucks carrying humanitarian relief, medical, and fuel supplies into all areas of the Gaza Strip.

Qatari foreign ministry pointed out that the pause can be extended beyond four days.

However, the fact that Israel continues its attacks on Gaza, increasing the Palestinian death toll, casts a shadow over the agreed pause.

Gaza’s Health Ministry has announced the cessation of its coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for hospital evacuations. This decision follows the arrest of the director of al-Shifa Hospital by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, frustration is growing among the families of Israeli captives, who express dismay over the lack of information and place blame on the government. This sentiment is further intensified as they await the truce.

The region witnessed a series of air raids, with three attacks in northern Gaza. It resulted in numerous casualties, including entire families. Southern cities such as Khan Younis and Rafah faced bombardment. One strike targeted a building near Kuwait Speciality Hospital in Rafah.

Even areas designated as safe zones, notably southern Gaza, have proven perilous for residents due to the ongoing bombardment. Residential buildings in central Gaza were also struck.

Simultaneously, Israeli forces expanded their military operations into the occupied West Bank, with six Palestinians shot dead in Tulkarem during raids on towns. The escalation in violence in both Gaza and the West Bank raises serious doubts about the effectiveness of the expected four-day pause in hostilities.