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Humanitarian Diplomacy in Action: Israel Commits to Four-Hour Daily Pauses in Gaza Assault, Opening Second Evacuation Corridor, as White House Secures Pathway for Civilians

09-11-2023 : In a recent development, the White House announced that Israel has agreed to implement four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its offensive against Hamas in northern Gaza, starting from Thursday. This decision comes in response to a request from President Joe Biden to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a Monday call. The first humanitarian pause is expected to be announced on Thursday, with the commitment from Israel to provide at least three hours’ notice before each four-hour window.

Additionally, Israel has opened a second corridor for civilians to evacuate the areas targeted in its military campaign against Hamas. This corridor includes a coastal road connecting to the main north-south highway in the territory.

President Biden, while addressing reporters, mentioned that he had requested a pause longer than three days during negotiations over the release of hostages held by Hamas. However, he clarified that there is no possibility of a general cease-fire at this point.

John Kirby, the spokesperson for the US National Security Council, emphasized the potential usefulness of humanitarian pauses in facilitating the release of hostages, including less than 10 Americans known to be held.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously warned Israel about the risk of jeopardizing the potential for peace if it did not act promptly to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza for Palestinian civilians. He stressed the importance of pausing military operations to allow for the immediate and increased delivery of assistance.

French President Emmanuel Macron, at a Gaza aid conference, urged Israel to protect civilians, emphasizing the equal worth of all lives and stating that the fight against terrorism must adhere to rules.

These recent developments reflect ongoing diplomatic efforts to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza and facilitate the evacuation of civilians amidst the conflict.