Thursday, December 14, 2023

US supports extension in Israel-Hamas conflict pause: White House

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The White House stated on Tuesday that the United States supports a further extension of the operational pause between Israel and Hamas to facilitate the release of all hostages currently in captivity.

“We want to see all the hostages released. And so, if there can be extended pauses beyond these two-day extensions., we’re in favour of that. And we’re going to keep working on this, as I said, hour by hour with all our partners in the region,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

When questioned about Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, the spokesperson, Kirby, mentioned that his fourth visit would primarily concentrate on reaffirming U.S. support for Israel and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

He also mentioned that Blinken will hold meetings with his Israeli counterparts and other regional counterparts.

“It is about making sure that, number one, Israel knows that they continue to have the support of the United States, that they continue to get the tools, the capabilities, and the weapon systems that they need to continue to defend themselves against Hamas. Number two, it’s all about getting that humanitarian assistance in,” Kirby said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to embark on his fourth visit to Israel this week, with additional stops planned in the West Bank, Belgium, North Macedonia, and the UAE.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stated that President Biden and the complete national security team are actively involved in addressing the Middle East situation, focusing on humanitarian aid, the operational pause, and the release of hostages.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hamas released 12 more hostages, including two foreign nationals, on the first day of the extended truce between Israel and Hamas. Israel also released 30 Palestinian prisoners as part of the deal.

Also Read: Ruchira Kamboj reaffirms long-standing relationship with Palestine

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