12:16 am ET, November 22, 2023
The Israeli cabinet met for six hours before approving the hostage deal, the official says
From Jeremy Diamond and Mike Schwartz at Sterod
Ahmed Garabli/AFP/Getty Images
An Israeli cabinet meeting to discuss the deal to release the hostages lasted about six hours — and topics ranged from the morality of the proposed deal to its battlefield implications, an Israeli official told CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.
“The cabinet meeting grew tense and emotional at times but ended with the government overwhelmingly approving the deal,” the official said.
Another government official, Cal Hirsch, told CNN that far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who had previously raised concerns about the deal, ended up supporting it.
Only two voted against the deal, including far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Ghir.
Hirsch, who acts as Israel’s hostage coordinator, said he told the families of the hostages early Wednesday that “the government will do everything to bring all the hostages home.”
He added that the time frame for the first hostages to enter Israel was still unclear.
What the contract covers: According to the Israeli government, the deal would include the release of at least 50 hostages, women and children, in Gaza in exchange for a four-day pause in Israeli air and ground attacks.
According to a Hamas statement, the deal also included the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners – women and children – in Israeli prisons. It will also allow hundreds of trucks carrying aid, medical supplies and fuel to enter Gaza.