National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has announced that Israel will begin implementing daily four-hour humanitarian pauses in its offensive against Hamas in Gaza.
This initiative, confirmed to start on Thursday, allows for the suspension of military operations and will be publicly announced three hours in advance. The move comes after President Biden's appeal for a longer pause, suggesting even a three-day halt to facilitate the release of hostages, CBS News reported.
“President Biden told reporters Thursday morning that he has asked Netanyahu for a pause even longer than three days for the release of hostages,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
The Israeli Prime Minister's office, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has responded with a firm stance, declaring the continuation of combat until the hostages are freed. Israel has also facilitated the movement of civilians within Gaza, urging evacuation from conflict zones.
“The fighting continues and there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages. Israel is allowing safe transit corridors from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south, as 50,000 Gazans did just yesterday. We once again call on the civilian population in Gaza to evacuate to the south,” his office said.
The Biden administration has been actively advocating for these humanitarian pauses.
“I think we need a pause,” said Biden at a fundraiser last week in Minneapolis. “I’m the guy that convinced Bibi to call for that cease-fire to let the prisoners out.”
The IDF has reported challenges in civilian evacuation, alleging that Hamas has been obstructing the movement of people and misappropriating resources, like fuel, for militant purposes.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, during a visit to the Sinai Division in northern Gaza, emphasized the strategic imperative to dismantle Hamas' military capabilities, referencing past attacks by the group and the necessity to prevent future violence.
We must remember that in Beit Hanoun (city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip) is the battalion from which the terrorists came to murder and kidnap in Kibbutz Erez, Netiv Ha’Asara, and Sderot.
This battle has meaning beyond the symbolic aspect. We need to ensure that all terrorist infrastructure in Beit Hanoun is destroyed. We will not stop, we will continue with all our might until we eradicate the Hamas organization – we will strike the entire chain of command, military depots, communications channels, tunnels, bunkers, and headquarters, everything.
The Israeli government remains committed to destroying Hamas' infrastructure and command, since the October 7 massacre, which saw over 1,400 Israelis killed.
“The answer to these brutal and barbaric acts is to wipe out Hamas. From here we will move on. If we don’t wipe out Hamas in Gaza, we will have ten more of these [massacres] from other places,” said Gallant.