US: Calling for a ceasefire that Hamas hasn’t agreed to won’t do anything

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Asked whether the US draft Security Council resolution calling for a “temporary ceasefire” as opposed to a “humanitarian pause” represents a shift in Washington’s stance, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller indicates that it doesn’t.

“We want to see a temporary stop in the fighting. You can call it a ceasefire, you can call it a pause. Ultimately, we want to see the fight and stop so hostages can get out and humanitarian assistance can get it,” he says during a press briefing.

“The only kind of temporary ceasefire that is going to achieve a release of hostages is one that’s negotiated.”

“Just calling for a temporary ceasefire that Hamas has not agreed to is not going to do anything to get the hostages out, which is why we can continue to pursue diplomacy with Israel and with the governments of Egypt and Qatar to try and achieve a temporary ceasefire that would secure the release of the hostages.”

“We think that is by far the most productive way forward. It’s what achieved the release of more than 100 hostages last year, and what we think should be the productive path for moving forward now,” Miller adds.

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