The month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has reached a critical juncture, with Israeli forces now preparing to enter the densely populated Gaza City.
However, amidst the intensifying conflict, the White House announced that Israel agreed to implement four-hour daily humanitarian pauses and open a second corridor for civilians to flee the affected areas.
This move comes after President Joe Biden’s request to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a recent phone call.
This move aims to allow aid organizations to provide much-needed assistance to the affected population, including medical supplies, food, and shelter. The pauses will also offer a temporary respite for civilians, allowing them to assess their situation and make necessary arrangements for their safety.
Another hope taken into consideration by these humanitarian pauses is their potential role in facilitating the safe release of hostages held by Hamas.
Biden, during negotiations with Israeli officials, emphasized the need for a longer pause to ensure the return of all hostages, including the less than 10 Americans believed to be in captivity.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that pauses might be helpful in “returning all 239 hostages to their families, including the less than 10 Americans that we know are being held.”
Israel has opened a second corridor for civilians to flee the areas targeted by its military campaign against Hamas. This newly established coastal road supplements the main north-south highway in Gaza and provides an alternative route for civilians seeking safety. The opening of this corridor reflects Israel’s recognition of the importance of preserving civilian lives and its commitment to minimizing harm to non-combatants.
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