“The Prime Minister’s Office responded by saying that “the fighting continues, and there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages.”
JNS Staff Report
November 10, 2023
Israel has agreed to observe daily four-hour “humanitarian pauses” in its operation against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday.
U.S. President Joe Biden asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to institute the pauses during a call on Monday, according to the White House.
The first humanitarian pause was set to be announced later on Thursday, Kirby claimed, adding that Jerusalem committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance.
Kirby said a ceasefire is not on the table because it would aid Gaza’s terrorist rulers and “legitimize what they did on Oct. 7, and we simply are not going to stand for that at this time.”
While this is the first time that the United States has announced this policy, Israel already opened a humanitarian corridor along Salah al-Din road for Palestinians to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.
The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement reiterating that “the fighting is continuing and there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages.
“Israel is enabling safe corridors from the Strip’s north to its south, as 50,000 Gazans did only yesterday. We once again call on the civilian population in Gaza to evacuate to the south,” Netanyahu’s office stated.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier on Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces likewise downplayed claims of a ceasefire. “There is no ceasefire. There are tactical, local pauses for humanitarian aid for Gazan civilians. These tactical pauses are limited in time and area,” said the military.
“We are also providing humanitarian corridors for civilians in Gaza to temporarily move south to safer areas where they can receive humanitarian aid,” the post added.
A White House official subsequently clarified to local media that Israel informed the Biden administration that it is working towards “formalizing and expanding” the existing humanitarian corridors.
“They also told us that it’s a formalized plan of action that will take effect today, and that they are opening a second corridor to allow for safe passage for civilians and aid to be delivered and distributed,” said the official.
‘No ceasefire without release of hostages’
On Wednesday, Netanyahu once again said that there would be no ceasefire unless the more than 240 hostages held by Hamas were freed. “It [the campaign] is advancing well and is achieving good results,” he said.
“I would like to set aside all kinds of false rumors that we are hearing from all sorts of directions and re-clarify one thing: There will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages. Everything else is false,” he added.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog also told U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris this week that there would be no ceasefire without the release of the hostages.
Washington requested that Israel announce a ceasefire lasting multiple days, Biden told reporters on Thursday. “It’s taken a little longer than I hoped,” he said.
Biden clarified that there is currently “None. No possibility” of a more permanent truce with Hamas.