Israel President Isaac Herzog Open To 2nd Ceasefire In Gaza To Free Remaining Hostages

Israel President Isaac Herzog Open To 2nd Ceasefire In Gaza To Free Remaining Hostages

Even with Herzog's offer, a US administration official said that a deal was not "imminent," even though US, Israeli, and Qatari officials are continuing to discuss a deal.

IANSUpdated: Wednesday, December 20, 2023, 09:35 AM IST
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Israel President Isaac Herzog | Twitter

Tel Aviv, December 20: Israeli President Isaac Herzog has openly declared his country's willingness to agree to a second temporary ceasefire to secure the release of the remaining 130 hostages in direct contrast to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unwillingness to stop the invasion unless Hamas is crushed.

In a recent interaction with 80 envoys, Herzog thanked them for their own respective nations' efforts to release the hostages and made clear that Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause in order to enable the release of hostages "and that the responsibility lies fully with (Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya) Sinwar and the leadership of Hamas.

CIA Director Bill Burns met Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

Even with Herzog's offer, a US administration official said that a deal was not "imminent," even though US, Israeli, and Qatari officials are continuing to discuss a deal. CIA Director Bill Burns met Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and David Barnea, the head of Israel's Mossad spy agency on Monday.

"We continue to work really hard to try to get another deal in place, which would, of course, be accompanied by another humanitarian pause and hopefully some additional humanitarian assistance. But we aren’t — I can't say that we are at a point where another deal is imminent," National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told reporters on Monday.

Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day cessation of hostilities

Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day cessation of hostilities in late November that was ultimately extended for a week, and during the pause, more than 100 Israeli hostages held since the October 7 terrorist attacks were freed. But the war resumed after Hamas failed to deliver on the daily agreement, and no hostages were freed since then, though three were killed accidentally by Israeli forces last week.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly said they would not stop their war efforts until Hamas leaders are captured or killed, the group is removed from power in Gaza, and stripped of its military capabilities. The Biden administration and Israeli backers argue against a complete and lasting ceasefire before Hamas is removed from power.

They fear Hamas may carry out more attacks against Israel

They fear Hamas may carry out more attacks against Israel, even though US officials have repeatedly urged Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties. The death toll in Gaza is nearing 20,000 since the start of Israel's war about 10 weeks ago, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

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