An Israeli official and a US official tell The Times of Israel that the Jewish state will expand its humanitarian pauses in northern Gaza.
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby’s announcement that Israel has agreed to implement daily, localized, four-hour humanitarian pauses to allow Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate to the south sparked a great deal of confusion, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly responding that there would be no “ceasefire” unless the hostages are released and IDF officials noting that they’ve already been implementing humanitarian pauses to allow for safe passage of civilians since the beginning of the week.
An Israeli official confirms that the localized humanitarian pauses it has already been implementing to allow for the safe passage of civilians through humanitarian corridors will be broader moving forward.
A White House official clarifies that Israel informed the US administration that moving forward, it will be “formalizing and expanding” the pauses that they’ve already been implementing over the past several days.
The official says that “temporarily pausing hostilities in a specific area or areas allow[s] for safe passage, evacuations of injured or wounded and for civilians to be able to replenish food, water and medical supplies.”
“They also told us that it’s a formalized plan of action that will take effect today, and that they are opening a second corridor to allow for safe passage for civilians and aid to be delivered and distributed,” the White House official says.
“Of course, if Hamas takes advantage of these pauses to initiate combat activities or fire rockets, the IDF said they will take action in response to the origin of the threat,” the White House official adds.