A humanitarian pause in Gaza has been secured through the successful joint mediation efforts of Egypt, Qatar, and the United States between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).
The pause will commence within the next 24 hours and will last for four days, with the possibility of an extension.
The agreement entails the release of 50 civilian Israeli women and children held captive in the Gaza Strip, in exchange for the release of a number of Palestinian women and children imprisoned in Israeli jails. The number of individuals released will be further increased in subsequent stages of the agreement’s implementation.
The humanitarian pause will also facilitate the entry of a larger volume of humanitarian convoys and relief supplies, including fuel designated for humanitarian purposes. Hamas said that as part of the ceasefire, Israel will stop drone flights over southern Gaza and only carry them out in the north of the enclave for six hours a day, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Commenting on the deal, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi stated, “I commend the success of the Egyptian-Qatari-American mediation in reaching an agreement on a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip and an exchange of prisoners between the two sides. I also reaffirm Egypt’s unwavering commitment to pursuing final and sustainable solutions that achieve justice, establish peace, and safeguard the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
US President Joe Biden welcomed the Gaza deal, remarking, “I extend my gratitude to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt for their crucial partnership in reaching this agreement. And I commend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment to supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully implemented.”
Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani commented, “We express our appreciation to our partners who contributed to reaching the humanitarian pause agreement in Gaza, particularly the United States and Egypt. We hope that this agreement will pave the way for a comprehensive and sustainable agreement that will bring an end to the war and bloodshed, and lead to serious discussions for a comprehensive and just peace process in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.”
The State of Qatar affirmed its unwavering commitment to ongoing diplomatic efforts aimed at de-escalating tensions, ending the bloodshed, and protecting civilians. In this regard, the State of Qatar commended the efforts of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States of America in reaching this agreement.
Following the truce deal, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU will seek to use the pause in fighting in Gaza to deliver more humanitarian aid to the territory.
The UK foreign secretary, David Cameron, urged both sides to deliver the agreement in full, saying: “This pause provides an important opportunity to ensure much greater volumes of food, fuel and other life-saving aid can reach Gaza on a sustained basis.”
Since the new round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict erupted on Oct. 7, Egypt and Qatar have been making efforts to mediate between the warring parties, secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, and de-escalate the situation in Gaza. The Israeli aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip has killed more than 14,000 people, including more than 5,800 children and 3,900 women, in the past 46 days.