Gaza Border | Israel on Thursday refuted US claims of four-hour daily 'humanitarian pauses' that will allow people to flee hostilities and for deliveries of humanitarian aid in Northern Gaza.
Israel is reportedly planning daily four-hour halts in military operations in northern Gaza, as per CNN's report citing the White House, however, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office has refuted the White House statement asserting Israel's agreement to a daily humanitarian pause in northern Gaza, starting today, reported Times of Israel.
John Kirby, spokesperson for the US National Security Council, outlined that Israel will provide a three-hour advance notice before announcing the timing of these pauses. He said, "We've been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause and that this process is starting today."
The US has officially announced a new policy, marking the first time, although Israel has been practising similar humanitarian measures since Sunday, The Times of Israel reported.
Israel has been implementing daily four-hour humanitarian corridors on Salah a-Din road, allowing Palestinians to evacuate from northern Gaza to its south.
Despite these actions, Israel refers to it as a "humanitarian corridor" rather than "humanitarian pauses," considering the political sensitivity in the country. The localised pause has been consistently in place, with extensions on Wednesday and Thursday due to a surge in Palestinians seeking evacuation, according to The Times of Israel.
The IDF estimates approximately 50,000 Palestinians used the corridor on Wednesday alone. Netanyahu's office emphasised that the fighting persists, stating "there will be no ceasefire without the release of our captives."
Meanwhile, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that in spite of rampant media reports about an impending deal about Hamas releasing some hostages in exchange for a pause in the war, no such serious proposal was on the table, The Times of Israel reported.
"There is no real proposal that is viable from Hamas's side on this issue," Herzog told NBC News, The Times of Israel reported.
"Whilst there are many, many people who are third parties who are sending optimistic messages to the newsreels, I'm saying outright: According to my knowledge, up to now, there is no real substantial information that is showing any real offer of any process on the table," Herzog added.
A trilateral meeting was held in Doha on Thursday, involving Qatari officials and the intelligence chiefs of Israel and the US. The meeting, attended by CIA Director William Burns, Mossad head David Barnea, and Qatari officials, focused on hostage releases in exchange for a three-day pause in fighting and the entry of additional aid into Gaza, a
diplomatic source familiar with the discussions informed CNN.
The proposed plan discussed during the meeting involves releasing between 10 to 20 civilian hostages. As part of the agreement, Hamas would compile and provide a list of hostages held in Gaza. A US official confirmed Burns' participation in the meeting but declined to comment on the specific terms discussed.
A senior US official previously indicated that Israel would not agree to a sustained pause in fighting without a substantial number of hostages being released. The talks, facilitated by Qatar, have been ongoing for weeks. An Israeli official mentioned the country's readiness for a pause if there was certainty about Hamas being "serious about releasing hostages."
The duration of a potential pause and the acceptable number of hostages released remain unclear. Negotiations also involve the potential exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, CNN reported.