Israel devalues White House announcement of “humanitarian pauses”
US pressure on Israel to ease humanitarian conditions in Gaza led the White House to announce yesterday with great fanfare that Israel will take “pauses” of four hours each day, announced three hours in advance. The Israeli response was the closest thing to a disappointment: we are already practicing them – to promote the Palestinian exodus to the south of the strip – and they are “tactical” pauses.
The White House announcement seemed one thing, and the Israeli version another, despite the coincidence in the facts: since Monday the Israeli army has guaranteed – and encouraged – that Gazans from the northern half move south along the highway from Salah al Din, something that 50,000 people have been doing on foot, in cars and cars the day before yesterday and 80,000 yesterday, according to a count by the Israeli army.
As if it were an unprecedented achievement, the White House announced that Israel would begin a four-hour truce starting yesterday, for humanitarian purposes. A sort of diplomatic success for the US on the stubborn from Prime Minister Netanyahu, with whom President Biden spoke by phone on Monday. Asked if he was frustrated by the relationship, Joe Biden responded that everything “is taking a little longer than he expected.”
“There is no ceasefire, I repeat: there is no ceasefire. What we are doing are local tactical pauses,” replied Defense Forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht. Discrepancies or a sort of good cop, bad cop distribution of roles? In any case, the US reiterates clearly and without fissures that this is not the time for truces.
Eighty thousand Gazans headed south yesterday during the pause that was already taking place before the US announcement.
The 240 hostages continue to be the subject of an intense diplomatic negotiation on several sides, which could explain this entanglement of the pauses and the corridor to the south, which helps improve the Israeli image with respect to the civilians of Gaza. The Prime Minister of Qatar, Mohamed bin Abderraman al Thani, met for several hours in Doha with the head of the Mossad, David Barnea, and the head of the CIA, William Burns, to discuss a possible deal proposed the day before, also in Doha. , by the political leadership of Hamas and residents of Qatar. The basis of the proposal is the release of a group of hostages – between 12 and 15 or even 20, according to sources – in exchange for a 72-hour truce under the pretext of being able to carry out a proper release.
Nothing has emerged from the three-way meeting in Qatar, except that the hostages constitute a bridge of dialogue, interposed, between Israelis and Hamas, thanks to the Qatari ability to play all the roles in the cast.
Hamas has its negotiating trump card in the hostages, perhaps its only one, and yesterday it used it in collaboration with its allies of the Islamic Jihad, who released a video of a 12-year-old boy and a 76-year-old woman, Israelis, who were They offered to release him in the next few hours for health reasons. And in exchange for nothing.
Islamic Jihad releases a video of two Israeli hostages, aged 12 and 76, whom it offers to free
The military campaign in Gaza continues to progress, although it is too soon to have a reliable portrait of the importance of the military advances and successes that the Israel Defense Forces disseminate every day. In the same way that in the Gaza Strip, living conditions are only getting worse, although the Palestinians have demonstrated for decades an exceptional capacity for survival, beyond imagination. Gaza's death tally continues to rise and reaches 10,812 lives, according to Hamas.
At the regional level, in the prevailing tone of containment, the United States attacked an ammunition base in Syria in the early hours of yesterday, in Maysalun, near the border with Israel, as a warning to the groups and militias to which it accuses him of harassing his troops in the region. According to the Pentagon, US bases and posts in the Middle East have been attacked 41 times since the fateful day of October 7.
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