UN calls for prolonged humanitarian hiatus in Gaza The Security Council passed a resolution. However, Israel believes that this has no place as long as people are still being held hostage by Hamas. “They have been insisting for a week that the release of large numbers of hostages is a condition for a humanitarian pause in the fighting,” says reporter Ralph Deckers. Notably, the US did not block the UN invitation this time, but a change is underway in that regard.
UN Wanting a humanitarian pause in the fighting, the US did not veto it
The US said it disagreed with the resolution because it did not condemn Hamas, but Washington decided not to veto it. Deckers finds that remarkable. Meanwhile, international pressure on Israel to suspend the fighting is mounting, prompting Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen to say that Israel can withstand the pressure for only a few more weeks.
However, Dekkers thinks Israel will not capitulate just yet, not without releasing the hostages. Because Netanyahu is under pressure to deliver a physical end to family members, people in Israel, in addition to the destruction of Gaza.
A hostage deal involving the U.S. and Qatar has been talked about before, but according to Deckers, there are several hurdles, such as the duration of the ceasefire. ‘Hamas wants five days, Israel wants three.’ However, Hamas also has additional demands, such as an Israeli commitment not to use drones over Gaza during such a ceasefire. Above all, Hamas fears where Israel will find the hostages.
Also Read | A deal between Hamas and Israel? ‘It looks promising, but we’re not there yet’
Opposition leader Netanyahu demands to leave
Israeli opposition leader Jair Lapid has now called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to resign immediately, and Dekkers says Lapid is not alone. Nevertheless, the majority believe that Netanyahu should end the war first, but that he should resign immediately. “He did not take responsibility for the events of October 7, and he did not behave well with the family members of the hostages.”
Also Read | Israel believes the ceasefire is two to three weeks away
Israel still says there is a Hamas command post beneath al-Shifa hospital, but after Israeli commandos searched the compound for 16 hours they emerged with “some guns, grenades and some bulletproof vests”. “These things obviously don’t belong in a hospital, but to say this is evidence of a military headquarters, which it doesn’t,” says Deckers.
Also Read | Israeli soldiers attacked Al Shifa hospital
The US wants a two-state solution
During the APEC summit in San Francisco yesterday, US President Joe Biden said he was in favor of a two-state solution, which, according to Dekkers, is already a long way off and still remains. ‘I don’t even know what Israel was doing the day after the war ended. A two-state solution, as the US sees it, would require Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to be in charge of Gaza, something Israel absolutely does not want.
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