Smoke billows after an Israeli strike on Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 23, 2023, amid continuing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. AFP
The recently reached ceasefire agreement in Gaza is expected to take effect starting Friday, Diaa Rashwan, head of the Egyptian State Information Service, said on Thursday.
Egypt is engaging in consultations with the other parties involved to finalize the procedures required to implement the truce, he added.
The deal, reached early Wednesday and mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US, was originally scheduled for Thursday at 10 am (0800 GMT).
However, it was delayed as a result of last-minute discussions regarding the names of Israeli captives and the specifics of their release, a Palestinian official told AFP on Thursday.
Qatar, who played a crucial role in mediating with Hamas, stated on Thursday morning that a new timeline for the agreement to take effect would be disclosed "in the coming hours."
The original truce established a four-day ceasefire to facilitate the release of 50 captives held in Gaza, according to Reuters.
In return, 150 Palestinians of the 8,000 currently imprisoned in Israel will be freed, and humanitarian aid will be allowed into the besieged Strip.
Israel also committed to refrain from any attacks or arrests in all parts of Gaza during the truce.
The terms of the agreement state that for every additional 10 captives released, the ceasefire will be extended for an additional day.
However, both sides agreed the war would resume after the truce, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “We are at war, and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals,” according to AP.
On Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stated that "Egypt would continue its efforts to help the sides reach a final and sustainable solution that achieves justice, enforces peace, and ensures the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people."