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Business News/ News / World/  G7 calls for humanitarian pauses in Israel-Gaza war - What does this mean and how is it different from ceasefire?
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G7 calls for humanitarian pauses in Israel-Gaza war - What does this mean and how is it different from ceasefire?

G7 foreign ministers have called for humanitarian pauses in the Israel-Hamas war, highlighting the need to protect civilians and comply with international laws. They also emphasized the importance of a broader peace process and preparing long-term solutions for Gaza.

Israeli soldiers keep a position while troops train in the upper Galilee region of northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on November 8, 2023, amid increasing cross-border tensions between Hezbollah and Israel as fighting continues in the south with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (AFP)Premium
Israeli soldiers keep a position while troops train in the upper Galilee region of northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on November 8, 2023, amid increasing cross-border tensions between Hezbollah and Israel as fighting continues in the south with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (AFP)

Foreign ministers from G7 countries have issued a ‘unified’ call for humanitarian pauses in the Israel-Hamas war. Officials also sought a return to a broader peace process and underscored the need to protect civilians and comply with international laws. Following a two-day meeting in Tokyo, G7 members also said they were committed to preparing long-term solutions for Gaza.

“I believe it's important that the G7 was able to put out its first unified message as a statement regarding a humanitarian pause... in terms of the responsibility the G7 has towards the international community," Reuters quoted Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa as telling reporters.

A humanitarian pause will however not end the Israel-Hamas war. The term refers to a short break in fighting that will allow aid supplies to enter Gaza.

ALSO READ: Israeli ambassador Naor Gilon urges Indians to light a ‘Diya of Hope’ for hostages held by Hamas

Several terms have come to the fore since fighting began last month – with calls for a truce, a humanitarian truce, de-escalation, a humanitarian ceasefire and a cessation of hostilities. There is no clear definition for each of these concepts with all referring to a break in fighting – of varying lengths. A pause is simply considered less formal and shorter than a ceasefire.

Reports citing various experts agree that a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities would refer to a permanent end to hostilities. A ceasefire agreement could act as the precursor to negotiations while a ‘humanitarian pause’ is temporary and serves a singular purpose.

It is pertinent to note here that such an agreement would apply to both Israel and Hamas-led Gaza.

ALSO READ: US's Antony Blinken says Israel should not 'reoccupy' Gaza

Last month the US and Russia had championed rival plans at the United Nations to support Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire. The US and its pro-Israel allies have repeatedly sought pauses that would allow aid to enter Gaza. Meanwhile, Moscow had pushed for a humanitarian ceasefire – an idea backed by Arab states.

“All parties must allow unimpeded humanitarian support for civilians, including food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter, and access for humanitarian workers. We support humanitarian pauses and corridors to facilitate urgently needed assistance, civilian movement and the release of hostages," said the latest statement released by foreign ministers of the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Italy.

It however remains a moot point at present with Israel staunchly refusing to implement either a ceasefire or a pause. The country anticipates a ‘long and difficult’ battle and has repeatedly announced its intent to ‘crush’ Hamas. Israel has also said that it will maintain some form of control over the coastal enclave indefinitely.

“There will be no ceasefire without the return of our hostages, we say this to both our enemies and our friends…We will continue until we beat them," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier this week.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 08 Nov 2023, 08:22 PM IST
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