Lull in Gaza fighting set for 7 a.m., first group of 13 hostages to be freed at 4 p.m.

The first pause in the almost seven-week war in Gaza initiated by Hamas in response to its October 7 atrocities is expected to start at 7 a.m. this morning, if all goes according to plan.

Nine hours later, the first group of 13 hostages kidnapped from Israel on October 7 and held by Hamas in Gaza will be freed, according to the agreement which officials have touted but with caveats about possible hurdles or curveballs.

Israel has a list of the first 13 hostages out of 50 set to be released over the course of the four-day pause in fighting in Gaza, after which Israel has vowed to resume military operations in full force. Israel will also release 150 Palestinian prisoners, females and minors.

Israel said the temporary truce could be extended an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed by the terrorists.

Authorities have developed a set protocol for treating the freed hostages, as Israelis brace for difficult days ahead.

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