Israel announces ‘tactical pause’ in Gaza for aid delivery, Hamas responds to US-backed ceasefire proposal

Israeli military to conduct daily tactical pause in southern Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid delivery. US announces USD 404 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Palestinians. Eight Israeli soldiers killed in blast in deadliest incident for IDF since January.

Livemint (with inputs from ANI)
Published16 Jun 2024, 05:26 PM IST
Palestinians hold Eid al-Adha prayers by the ruins of the Al-Rahma mosque destroyed by Israeli air strikes, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 16, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinians hold Eid al-Adha prayers by the ruins of the Al-Rahma mosque destroyed by Israeli air strikes, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 16, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem(REUTERS)

Israel announced a ‘tactical pause’ in the Gaza war on Sunday to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid. The development came even as the US announced USD 404 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Palestinians and eight IDF soldiers were killed in a blast — the deadliest incident for the Israeli army since January. Meanwhile the militant Hamas group said that its response to a recent Gaza ceasefire proposal was 'consistent' with the principles of the US plan.

The “tactical pause” will only apply to a 12 kilometre stretch of road in the Rafah area and falls far short of a complete ceasefire. The limited halt in fighting could however help address some of the overwhelming needs of Palestinians in the besieged Strip. According to the IDF, the daily tactical pause will be in effect from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm local time till further notice.

ALSO READ: US Sanctions Israeli Extremist Group for Destroying Gaza Aid

The move was welcomed by the UN with aid agency spokesperson Jens Laerke however noting in an email to AFP that “this has yet to translate into more aid reaching people in need”. The Israeli Military said that the pause came in the wake of discussions with the UN and international aid agencies.

The pause is intended to allow trucks to reach the Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing — the main entry point for incoming aid — and travel safely to the main Salah a-Din highway. The crossing has suffered from a bottleneck since Israeli ground troops moved into Rafah in early May.

ALSO READ: Emboldened Gazans express anger at Hamas over cease-fire talks impasse

The pause along the southern route comes even as  Israel and Hamas remain locked in an impasse over ceasefire negotiations. Both groups are currently weighing an ‘Israeli’ proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden. It is pertinent to note that Tel Aviv has not fully embrased the plan and Hamas has demanded changes that appear unacceptable to Israel.

“Hamas and the (Palestinian) groups are ready for a comprehensive deal which entails a ceasefire, withdrawal from the strip, the reconstruction of what was destroyed and a comprehensive swap deal,” Reuters quoted the group's Qatar-based leader Ismail Haniyeh as saying in a televised speech.

(With inputs from agencies)

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First Published:16 Jun 2024, 05:26 PM IST
HomeNewsWorldIsrael announces ‘tactical pause’ in Gaza for aid delivery, Hamas responds to US-backed ceasefire proposal

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