Israel and Hamas are scheduled to begin a four-day cease-fire on Friday morning, with the Palestinian group releasing the first batch of 13 Israeli women and children prisoners later in the day, marking the first respite in a war that has ravaged the embattled Gaza Strip.
According to mediators in Qatar, the ceasefire will begin at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and will include a total ceasefire in north and south Gaza, followed by the return of some of the more than 200 captives abducted by Hamas during their October 7 strike inside Israel.
However, violence continued in the hours immediately up to the cease-fire, with authorities within the enclave reporting that a hospital in Gaza City was among the locations attacked. Both sides also indicated that the pause would be brief before the fighting restarted.
More assistance will be sent to Gaza, and the first captives, including elderly ladies, will be released at 4 p.m. (1400 GMT), with the total number climbing to 50 over the next four days, Qatar's foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said in Doha.
Egypt stated that when the cease-fire begins, 130,000 gallons of diesel and four trucks of petrol will be sent daily to Gaza, as well as 200 trucks of assistance.
Palestinians were expected to be released from Israeli jails, according to a Qatari spokesperson. "We all hope that this truce will lead to a chance to start a wider work to achieve a permanent truce."
On its Telegram channel, Hamas stated that all hostilities from its forces would end.
However, Abu Ubaida, the armed wing of Hamas, later referred to "this temporary truce" in a video message calling for an "escalation of the confrontation with Israel) on all resistance fronts," including the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where violence has risen since the Gaza war began almost seven weeks ago.
The Israeli military said its forces would remain behind a ceasefire line inside Gaza but did not specify where they would be.