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Friday, December 1, 2023

Israel Open to Temporary Ceasefires in Gaza Conflict for Aid and Hostage Release, Rejects Broader Ceasefire Calls

Temporary Ceasefires Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has indicated his willingness to consider “tactical little pauses” in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. These pauses could facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid or the release of hostages. However, Netanyahu reiterated his rejection of a general ceasefire, despite growing international pressure to end hostilities.

Security Responsibility in Gaza

In a recent interview on US television, Netanyahu expressed his belief that Israel might need to maintain security responsibility over the Palestinian enclave for an “indefinite period” following the current conflict.

Humanitarian Pauses and General Ceasefire

Addressing the possibility of humanitarian pauses in the fighting, an idea supported by Israel’s key ally, the United States, Netanyahu stated that a general ceasefire would impede Israel’s military efforts. He mentioned the potential for short, tactical pauses, such as “an hour here, an hour there,” to allow the entry of humanitarian goods or the release of individual hostages. However, he maintained that a comprehensive ceasefire is unlikely.

Stalemate in Conflict: Temporary Ceasefires

Both Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza have rejected increasing international calls for a ceasefire. Israel has demanded the release of hostages taken by Hamas during a violent incursion in southern Israel on October 7 before considering a ceasefire. Meanwhile, Hamas insists on continuing its resistance as long as Gaza is under assault.

Humanitarian Crisis and International Concern

Since the initial Hamas attack that led to the seizure of hostages and the death of 1,400 people in Israel, Israel has conducted air strikes, imposed a siege, and launched a ground offensive in Gaza. This has raised global concerns about the humanitarian situation in the enclave.

The health ministry in Gaza, under Hamas control, reported over 10,022 Palestinian fatalities, including 4,104 children, as a result of the ongoing conflict.

Calls for Immediate Humanitarian Ceasefire

Various international organizations, including the heads of several United Nations bodies, have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire after 30 days of conflict. They emphasized the need to end the violence to address the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza. Washington has been actively involved in efforts to arrange temporary ceasefires to allow aid to enter, but it shares Israel’s concerns that a full ceasefire could give Hamas an opportunity to regroup.

US President Biden’s Role

US President Joe Biden discussed the possibility of temporary pauses in the fighting and the release of hostages during a recent phone call with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The White House reiterated its support for Israel while emphasizing the importance of protecting civilians.

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