IDF operation in Gaza
IDF operation in GazaIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Washington Post reported on Saturday night that Israel, the US and Hamas have agreed to a tentative deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza, in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting.

The release could begin within the next several days, barring last-minute hitches, said people familiar with the provisions of the agreement.

Under the terms of a detailed, six-page agreement, all parties to the conflict would freeze combat operations for at least five days while an initial 50 or more hostages are released in smaller batches every 24 hours, according to The Washington Post.

It was not immediately clear how many of the 239 hostages believed to be in captivity in Gaza would be released under the deal. Overhead surveillance would monitor movement on the ground to police the pause.

The stop in fighting is also intended to allow a significant increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance, including fuel, to enter Gaza from Egypt.

The Washington Post report said the outline of a deal was put together during weeks of talks in Doha, Qatar among Israel, the US and Hamas, indirectly represented by Qatari mediators.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington said that “we are not going to comment” on any aspect of the hostage situation.

A White House spokesperson said an agreement has not yet been reached between Israel and Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference on Saturday night, "Until this moment, there has not been a deal, but when we have what to say, we will update the public about it. We know the nightmare which the families are living through."

On Friday, US President Joe Biden spoke with Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar, whose country has been mediating the efforts to reach a deal.

According to the White House, the two “discussed the urgent need for all hostages held by Hamas to be released without further delay.”