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‘Hopeful’ Turkey on Israel-Hamas hostage deal: Can ‘completely end’ war

Turkey on Wednesday said it hoped a deal between Israel and Hamas to free hostages and pause the fighting and bombardment in Gaza can help bring a full end to the war.

Israeli soldiers work on armored military vehicles along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel.(AP)

Turkey has been an increasingly vocal critic of the soaring civilian death toll of Israel’s military response to the militants’ October 7 attacks, the deadliest in Israel’s history.

In the first major diplomatic breakthrough in the bloodiest ever Gaza war, Palestinian militants are set to release 50 women and children kidnapped in southern Israel.

The Turkish foreign ministry said the deal, brokered with Qatar and Egypt’s help, was “a positive development in terms of easing the bloodshed to some extent”.

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“We hope that this humanitarian pause will help to completely end the conflict as soon as possible and initiate a process towards a just and lasting peace on the basis of a two-state solution,” the ministry said.

It urged “full compliance with the agreement”, adding that it should lead to an “increase in the amount of humanitarian aid allowed to enter Gaza”.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in response to the attacks, which killed an estimated 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw 240 hostages taken to Gaza.

Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, which, according to the Hamas government in the territory, has killed 14,100 people, mainly civilians that included thousands of children.

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