US rejects international calls for Israel-Hamas ceasefire
US suggests implementing “pauses” for Gaza aid delivery
Israel refuses ceasefire until Hamas is disarmed
The US has declined international appeals for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, stating that it may not be the appropriate solution at this time.
Instead, National Security spokesperson John Kirby, on Monday, recommended implementing “pauses” to facilitate the delivery of essential aid to Gaza.
At present, supplies of food, water, fuel, and medications for Gaza’s 2.2 million residents are critically low. However, Israel has pledged not to agree to a ceasefire until Hamas is disarmed.
“Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism… this will not happen,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
During a press briefing, Mr. Kirby expressed optimism that an increased number of aid trucks could access Gaza through Egypt.
He confirmed that discussions had taken place between the US and the Israeli government to potentially raise the daily quota of trucks crossing the border to approximately 100.
While around 45 trucks managed to enter Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah Crossing on Sunday, Mr. Kirby acknowledged the necessity for a higher number of deliveries.
“We know that even that, which is a dramatic improvement over where we are right now, is still not going to be enough,” he told the press briefing.
Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UN relief agency UNRWA, previously stated to the that approximately 500 trucks per day used to enter Gaza before the conflict began.
The Israel-Gaza conflict began with Hamas attacks on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people in Israel and the taking of 229 people hostage by Hamas.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry, more than 8,300 people in Gaza have lost their lives since Israel’s retaliatory bombing started.
On Monday, Yinam Cohen, Israel’s consul general to the Midwest, announced that one of the women held hostage by Hamas, Natalie Raanan, has returned home to Chicago.
The UN General Assembly issued a strong call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas last week. However, Israel responded with strong opposition to this request.
On Monday, Mr. Lazzarini emphasized that the aid system would face significant challenges unless there is a genuine commitment to ensuring that the delivery of supplies effectively addresses the unprecedented humanitarian needs on the ground.
Starting on Monday, Israel initiated what Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as the “second stage” of its campaign aimed at dismantling Hamas.
This phase involved the expansion of ground operations inside Gaza following three weeks of intense airstrikes.
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