Israel Agrees to Daily Humanitarian Pauses in Gaza, But Full Ceasefire Remains Elusive
In a recent development, Israel has agreed to implement daily four-hour pauses in northern Gaza to facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians, as announced by the White House on Thursday. Despite these temporary halts, President Joe Biden expressed skepticism about the likelihood of a full ceasefire.
The National Security Council’s spokesperson, John Kirby, stated that Israel would initiate these pauses in designated areas of northern Gaza, with a three-hour advance announcement. During these breaks, Israel assured that there would be no military operations in those regions.
The conflict, triggered by Hamas attacks on October 7, has escalated into intense, close-quarters fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas in Gaza City’s northern region. The violence has persisted for over a month, with casualties reported on both sides.
Israel’s response involved airstrikes and ground offensives, resulting in a substantial number of casualties, particularly among civilians. The Gaza health ministry, under Hamas control, reported over 10,500 deaths, including many children.
Calls for a ceasefire from the international community, along with protests, including one near the White House, have intensified. However, President Biden, while acknowledging his request for a longer pause, ruled out the possibility of an immediate comprehensive ceasefire.
Despite expressing frustration with the duration of the conflict, President Biden did not reference the specific four-hour pauses mentioned by the White House. The U.S. has consistently supported Israel as a key ally but has urged adherence to the “laws of war” to minimize civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Israel continues its military operations, encircling northern Gaza and claiming success in battles against Palestinian militants. The displacement of tens of thousands adds to the already significant number seeking refuge in the southern part of the coastal strip.