The Israeli Government has voted in favour of a deal that will see some of the hostages in Gaza released and fighting temporarily paused.
Under the agreement, 50 women and children will be freed in phases over the next four days.
The Israeli Government has said for every 10 further hostages that Hamas releases, the pause in fighting will be extended by a further day.
The deal also means 150 Palestinian women and children will be released from Israeli jails and hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid will be allowed to enter Gaza.
Nine-year-old Emily Hand is believed to be among the hostages and the Government has said it is doing everything in its power to ensure she is among those released.
Her father, Tom Hand, previously described knowing she spent her ninth birthday in Gaza last week as a “horrible, horrible nightmare”.
“No birthday cake, presents, party friends around her, family around her,” he said.
“The saddest part is she won’t know it’s her birthday – she won’t know what day it is; she won't even know if it's day or night.”
The agreement was negotiated by the Qatari Government, who said the "starting time of the pause will be announced within the next 24 hours".
US President Joe Biden said he was "extraordinarily gratified" to hear the news and said it would "alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Washington for its help in the negotiations, which he said had resulted in “more hostages and lower costs”.
War on Hamas
On October 7th, Hamas invaded southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people and kidnapping roughly 240, according to Israeli officials.
Despite the agreement, there is no end to the conflict in sight. The Israeli Government remains committed to “the elimination of Hamas” and ensuring there is “no new threat” to Israeli citizens from the group.
Since Israel launched its war against Hamas, over 12,000 people in Gaza have died, according to Palestinian authorities.
Main image: Members of Britain's Jewish community with images of those kidnapped and Israeli flags gather in Trafalgar Square, London. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News