US official says hopeful ‘temporary pause’ in Gaza can become something ‘more enduring’

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

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a White House press conference on February 14, 2024. (Screen capture/YouTube)
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during a White House press conference on February 14, 2024. (Screen capture/YouTube)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reiterates that the US is looking to secure a humanitarian pause that would see the release of hostages and that could be used to “build something more enduring.”

He avoids calling that “something” a ceasefire when pushed during a White House press briefing, though privately the administration is indeed seeking to turn any temporary pause into a permanent one, a senior US official told The Times of Israel last week.

“We’re looking for a temporary pause as part of the hostage deal, and then to build on that into something more enduring,” Sullivan says, reiterating remarks by US President Joe Biden earlier this week. “What that looks like exactly, on what parameters, where Hamas fits into that all, those are things we’re going to have to work through with our partners in Israel and with others.”

“The idea is that you have multiple phases as part of the hostage deal, and you try to move from one phase to the next so that the initial period of the pause can be extended,” Sullivan adds.

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