White House representative John Kirby emphasised ongoing communication between the U.S. and Israeli governments concerning potential short-term ceasefires….reports Asian Lite News
U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu engaged in discussions regarding the possibility of “tactical pauses” in the Gaza conflict for humanitarian reasons and the potential release of hostages during their talks on Monday.
White House representative John Kirby emphasised ongoing communication between the U.S. and Israeli governments concerning potential short-term ceasefires. Both leaders agreed to further dialogue in the upcoming days. “We consider ourselves at the beginning of this conversation, not at the end of it,” Kirby told reporters.
However, when asked about temporary “humanitarian” pauses in the fighting as suggested by President Biden and top administration officials, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ABC News on Monday: “Well, there’ll be no ceasefire, general ceasefire, in Gaza without the release of our hostages. As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there.
” We’ve had them before, I suppose, will check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don’t think there’s going to be a general ceasefire.”
According to the Israeli authorities, the Hamas is holding 240 people as hotages in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals.
Media reports have indicated that about 30 of the them are children.
So far, the militant group released four civilian hostages, while afemale Israeli soldier was rescued by the country’s forces.
Hamas has however, claimed that 57 of the hostages were killed in the the Israeli airstrikes.
Netanyahu went on to say that a ceasefire “will hamper the war effort”.
“It’ll hamper our effort to get our hostages out because the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure that we’re exerting.”
When he was asked about a probable halt in the fighting if Hamas agreed to release the hostages, the Israeli leader told ABC News: “There will be a ceasefire for that purpose.”
When Netanyahu was asked who will govern the enclave once and when the raging fighting ends, he indicated that he believed Israel will have a role to play for an “indefinite period”.
“Those who don’t want to continue the way of Hamas… It certainly is not — I think Israel will, for an indefinite period will have the overall security responsibility because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it.
“When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale that we couldn’t imagine,” he told ABC News.
Netanyahu also addressed the role of Iran and Hezbollah in the conflict, cautioning them from getting more involved.
“I think they’ve understood that if they enter the war in a significant way, the response will be very, very powerful and I hope they don’t make that mistake.”
As of Tuesday morning, the war in Gaza have killed more than 10,000 Palestinians in the besieged enclave, including 4,008 children and 2,550 women.