White House-Israel to begin four-hour pauses in northern Gaza

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Amidst the conflict in northern Gaza, Israel has committed to a daily four-hour halt in military operations, as confirmed by the White House. This decision follows discussions between U.S. and Israeli officials, including talks between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. John Kirby, the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, stated that there will be no military actions during these pauses, with announcements made three hours in advance.

Furthermore, the pauses are designed to facilitate the movement of people through two designated humanitarian corridors. Biden, aiming for a more extended pause, sought a three-day cessation in Gaza. Simultaneously, efforts were underway to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas, with discussions involving CIA and Mossad chiefs meeting the Qatari Prime Minister in Doha.

Qatar, acting as a mediator due to its connection with key Hamas political figures, has been working to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas militants during their incursion into Israel. The situation escalated, resulting in a relentless Israeli bombardment of Hamas-controlled Gaza and a subsequent armored invasion, leading to a tragic toll of over 10,000 lives lost, including 40% children.

Amid mounting pressure for a ceasefire from the United Nations and the global community, a rift emerged between the United States and Israel regarding the concept of a “pause” to allow for limited hostage releases. While Israel advocated for brief halts of an hour or a few hours in specific locations, Washington called for more extended pauses, with reports suggesting a potential swap of 10 to 50 individuals for a three-day cessation of hostilities.

Prime Minister Netanyahu remained firm, stating that the fighting would persist until the hostages were released. Israel established a secure transit route from northern to southern Gaza, urging the civilian population to relocate to the south for their safety. The situation remains tense, with ongoing diplomatic efforts seeking resolution amid the complex dynamics of the conflict.



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