HUMZA Yousaf has welcomed the pause to the devastating war in Gaza – but warned it must go further to ensure the carnage does not begin again.

The First Minister made the comments after it emerged Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement over a four-day halt to the violence.

The truce will be accompanied by the release of dozens of hostages held by the militant group in return for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, mediators said.

The deal marks the biggest diplomatic breakthrough since Hamas’ October 7 rampage into southern Israel ignited a war that has devastated vast swaths of Gaza and raised fears of a wider conflict across the Middle East.

However Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would resume the war after the truce and keep fighting “until we achieve all our goals,” including the defeat of Hamas.

READ MORE: Scottish Parliament calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Responding to the announcement, Yousaf wrote on Twitter/X: “While any pause in violence will be welcome relief, it must go further.

“We can not see a repeat of the carnage that has killed so many innocent people resume after four days.

“Every ounce of diplomatic effort is needed to ensure this pause becomes a permanent end to the violence.”

On Tuesday, MSPs backed a Scottish Government motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the conflict, as well as condemning the “barbaric and unjustifiable” Hamas attacks of October 7 and demanding the release of all hostages taken.

The Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, which has played a key role in mediating with Hamas, announced the deal without saying when it would go into effect.

Fifty hostages will be released in stages, in exchange for what Hamas said would be 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Both sides will release women and children first, and the supply of humanitarian aid flowing into the besieged territory will be ramped up.

READ MORE: Inside the Gaza ceasefire protest outside the Scottish Parliament

Residents in Gaza City said the fighting there had intensified overnight into Wednesday, with gunfire, heavy artillery and air strikes in central neighbourhoods.

The United States and Egypt were also involved in talks to free some of the roughly 240 hostages captured by Hamas and other militants during their wide-ranging October 7 raid.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the deal, saying Netanyahu has committed to supporting an “extended pause” to make sure that the hostages are released and humanitarian aid can be sent to Gaza.

Qatar’s Prime Minister and top diplomat, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said he hoped the deal would eventually lead to a permanent ceasefire and “serious talks” on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel said that the truce would be extended an extra day for every additional 10 hostages released by Hamas.