Biden Discusses Potential Three-Day Pause for Hostage Deal With Netanyahu

Israeli officials have continued to reject US calls for a "humanitarian pause"

President Biden asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to pause Israel’s assault on Gaza for three days to allow progress in Hamas releasing hostages, Axios reported on Tuesday.

The request was made in a Monday phone call, but Israel continues to rebuff US calls for a “humanitarian pause” in Gaza. On Tuesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke with Vice President Kamala Harris and said there would be no type of ceasefire without Hamas releasing all of its hostages.

According to Axios, the US, Israel, and Qatar have discussed a proposal that would involve Hamas releasing 10-15 hostages and then using the three-day pause in fighting to verify the names of the remaining captives and deliver the list.

Israel has said a total of 240 people were captured during the October 7 attack, although Hamas has claimed over 60 are missing due to Israeli airstrikes. So far, Hamas has released four hostages and says it’s ready to release 12 more foreign nationals but can’t because of the Israeli bombardment.

In the call on Monday, Netanyahu told Biden that he didn’t trust Hamas’s intentions and that he didn’t believe they would agree to a deal regarding hostages. He also is worried that if Israel pauses its brutal assault for three days, it will lose international support for the onslaught.

In an interview with ABC News on Monday, Netanyahu said he’s open to “little” pauses but not a ceasefire without the release of hostages first. “Well, there’ll be no ceasefire, general ceasefire, in Gaza without the release of our hostages,” he said. “As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there. We’ve had them before, I suppose, will check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don’t think there’s going to be a general ceasefire.”

The Biden administration has refused to use the term “ceasefire” as it maintains full-throated support for the Israeli campaign in Gaza despite the massive civilian death toll.

Source: AntiWar.

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