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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, November 24th, 2023

Gaza gets a reprieve with negotiated pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas

This week, Israel’s right wing gov­ern­ment and the Hamas ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion agreed to a pause in fight­ing after nego­ti­a­tions facil­i­tat­ed by Qatar.

Dur­ing the pause, Hamas will release abductees back to Israel and Israel will release Pales­tini­ans that it is hold­ing pris­on­er. The first of these exchanges have already begun and more are expect­ed in the com­ing days.

As they occur, the Unit­ed Nations and inter­na­tion­al aid orga­ni­za­tions are try­ing to get bad­ly need­ed sup­plies into Hamas-con­trolled Gaza to help the mil­lions of Pales­tini­ans in need of food, clean water, and medicine.

A num­ber of major news orga­ni­za­tions have live­blogs going today with reg­u­lar updates. Here are some of the ones we’re keep­ing an eye on:

Here’s a sum­ma­ry of the lat­est devel­op­ments from the BBC:

  • Thir­teen Israeli hostages released by Hamas are back in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces have confirmed
  • They were part of a group that includ­ed 10 Thais and one Fil­ipino national
  • The Red Cross picked up the hostages in Gaza and trans­ferred them into Egypt via the Rafah bor­der crossing
  • The release is part of a deal, medi­at­ed by Qatar, which also includes the release of 39 Pales­tin­ian detainees from Israeli jails today
  • Under the terms of the deal, a total of 50 hostages and 150 Pales­tin­ian detainees will be released over four days dur­ing a tem­po­rary ceasefire
  • More aid is also being allowed into Gaza — 60 lor­ries car­ry­ing med­ical sup­plies, fuel and food entered today from Egypt
  • Hamas’s attacks on 7 Octo­ber killed 1,200 peo­ple, with about 240 tak­en hostage
  • Since then, Gaza­’s Hamas-run health min­istry says more than 14,000 peo­ple have been killed in Israel’s retal­ia­to­ry campaign

On Tues­day, Pres­i­dent Biden issued a state­ment hail­ing the agreement.

“I wel­come the deal to secure the release of hostages tak­en by the ter­ror­ist group Hamas dur­ing its bru­tal assault against Israel on Octo­ber 7th,” the Pres­i­dent said.

“Jill and I have been keep­ing all those held hostage and their loved ones close to our hearts these many weeks, and I am extra­or­di­nar­i­ly grat­i­fied that some of these brave souls, who have endured weeks of cap­tiv­i­ty and an unspeak­able ordeal, will be reunit­ed with their fam­i­lies once this deal is ful­ly implemented.”

“I thank Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and Pres­i­dent Abdel-Fat­tah El-Sisi of Egypt for their crit­i­cal lead­er­ship and part­ner­ship in reach­ing this deal.  And I appre­ci­ate the com­mit­ment that Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu and his gov­ern­ment have made in sup­port­ing an extend­ed pause to ensure this deal can be ful­ly car­ried out and to ensure the pro­vi­sion of addi­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance to alle­vi­ate the suf­fer­ing of inno­cent Pales­tin­ian fam­i­lies in Gaza. I look for­ward to speak­ing with each of these lead­ers and stay­ing in close con­tact as we work to ensure this deal is car­ried through in its entirety.”

“It is impor­tant that all aspects of this deal be ful­ly implemented.”

“As Pres­i­dent, I have no high­er pri­or­i­ty than ensur­ing the safe­ty of Amer­i­cans held hostage around the world. That’s why — from the ear­li­est moments of Hamas’s bru­tal assault — my nation­al secu­ri­ty team and I have worked close­ly with region­al part­ners to do every­thing pos­si­ble to secure the release of our fel­low cit­i­zens. We saw the first results of that effort in late Octo­ber, when two Amer­i­cans were reunit­ed with their loved ones. Today’s deal should bring home addi­tion­al Amer­i­can hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released.”

Accord­ing to a dis­patch from the White House press pool, the Pres­i­dent was briefed mul­ti­ple times this morn­ing by his nation­al secu­ri­ty team on the lat­est devel­op­ments regard­ing the release of hostages from Gaza.

“Dur­ing the human­i­tar­i­an pause that has been in place since this morn­ing, the UN was able to scale up the deliv­ery of human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance into and across Gaza,” said a bul­letin pub­lished by OCHA, the Unit­ed Nations Office for the Coor­di­na­tion of Human­i­tar­i­an Affairs.

“200 trucks were dis­patched from Nit­sana to the Rafah crossing.”

“137 trucks of goods were offloaded by the UNRWA recep­tion point in Gaza mak­ing it the biggest human­i­tar­i­an con­voy received since Octo­ber 7.”

“129,000 litres of fuel and four trucks of gas also crossed into Gaza.”

“21 crit­i­cal patients were evac­u­at­ed in a large-scale med­ical oper­a­tion from the north of Gaza. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple were assist­ed with food, water, med­ical sup­plies and oth­er essen­tial human­i­tar­i­an items.”

“The UN wel­comes the release of 24 hostages held in Gaza since Octo­ber 7 and renews its call for the imme­di­ate and uncon­di­tion­al release of all hostages.”

“Human­i­tar­i­an teams from the UN and part­ners will con­tin­ue to ramp up human­i­tar­i­an oper­a­tions to meet the needs of peo­ple through­out Gaza in the com­ing days.”

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