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World

Israel to begin four-hour pauses in northern Gaza: White House

  • Pauses will allow people to get out of harm’s way and for deliveries of humanitarian aid and could be used as a way to get hostages out, says White House national security spokesperson John Kirby
Published November 9, 2023
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON/JENIN: Israel will begin four-hour pauses in northern Gaza starting Thursday to allow people to flee hostilities, the White House said in what it called a step in the right direction.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the pauses emerged out of discussions between US and Israeli officials in recent days, including talks US President Joe Biden had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kirby said the pauses would allow people to get out of harm’s way and for deliveries of humanitarian aid and could be used as a way to get hostages out.

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“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,” Kirby said.

“We understand that Israel will begin to implement four-hour pauses in areas of northern Gaza” with an announcement to come three hours in advance,“ he said.

He called the news a step in the right direction.

“We think these are significant first steps here and obviously we want to see them continued for as long as they are needed,” he added.

Kirby also said a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was not in order because it would help Hamas and “legitimise what they did on October 7 and we simply are not going to stand for that at this time.”

10 Palestinians killed in Israeli raid on West Bank’s Jenin: ministry

Ten Palestinians were killed on Thursday in an Israeli raid on Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said as AFP journalists reported intense fighting.

They saw black smoke rising over Jenin and heard multiple explosions and gunfire.

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A statement from the Palestinian health ministry said the current death toll in Jenin stood at 10, with more than 20 others wounded.

The Israeli army said its forces were operating in the northern West Bank city, but did not provide further details.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in recent months by Israeli forces in Jenin, particular in the city’s refugee camp where armed groups are present alongside tens of thousands of residents.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and its troops regularly launch raids across the Palestinian territory.

The Palestinian health ministry on Thursday announced three other people were shot dead by Israeli forces.

They were killed in Beit Fajar and Dura, in the southern West Bank, and Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah.

Since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in the Gaza Strip on October 7, Israeli forces have arrested more than 2,000 people across the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club advocacy group.

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The Israeli military has put the figure at more than 1,000 and said most are affiliated with Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules the Gaza Strip.

At least 170 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed across the West Bank since October 7, according to officials on both sides.

The Gaza war began with attacks on October 7 by Gaza-based Hamas, which Israeli officials say killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

Vowing to crush Hamas in response, Israel launched intense air strikes and a ground invasion of Gaza, killing more than 10,800 people, also mostly civilians, according to the Gaza’s health ministry.

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