The release of at least 50 Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza has been postponed until Friday, according to a top aide of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Tzachi Hanegbi, the chairman of the National Security Council, announced on Wednesday that the talks for a deal on the hostages and a four-day humanitarian ceasefire were “progressing”, but not yet finalized.
“The negotiations are complex and sensitive, and we are working around the clock to bring our people home safely,” Hanegbi said in a statement. “We hope to reach an agreement by Friday, but we will not compromise on our security and our sovereignty.”
The delay came as a surprise to many, as earlier reports suggested that the hostage swap and the truce could take effect as soon as Wednesday night.