Israel: No hostage release and no ceasefire before Friday

The agreement was approved by the Israeli government on Wednesday morning.

Israel: No hostage release and no ceasefire before Friday

The agreement was approved by the Israeli government on Wednesday morning. Then on Thursday morning, an Israeli official told the AFP news agency that fighting would not stop until Friday. Israeli media had previously reported that the ceasefire would come into force on Thursday and that a first group of hostages would be released on the same day.

On Wednesday night, the Israeli cabinet approved an agreement with Hamas that included the release of at least 50 hostages kidnapped by Hamas into the Gaza Strip during a four-day ceasefire and, on the other hand, the release of 150 Palestinian women and minors from Israeli prisons provides.

Aid organizations criticized the agreed four-day ceasefire as insufficient and called for more time to deliver vital relief supplies to the area. The agreed ceasefire is "not enough and certainly not sufficient in terms of human rights," said Paul O'Brien of Amnesty International at a video conference with other organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and Save the Children.

“We cannot provide food for two million people in four days,” criticized Danila Zizi from Handicap International. The ceasefire is just “a drop in the ocean.”

Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour called for a "final end" to the war between Israel and Hamas. The agreed ceasefire should not just be a pause "before the massacre starts again," he told the UN Security Council, adding that thanks to the ceasefire, "hundreds of Palestinian children" remained alive.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden called the leaders of Qatar, Israel and Egypt, the White House announced on Wednesday (local time). All three discussions were about "the agreement to release the hostages (...) and the latest developments in the region."

Biden and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, "committed to remaining in close contact to ensure the agreement is fully implemented," the White House said. The Gulf state of Qatar played a key role as a mediator in the negotiations for the release of the hostages.

In his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US President assured "that he will continue to work for the release of all remaining hostages." He also emphasized the importance of peace "on the Lebanese border and in the West Bank," said the White House.

Biden emphasized to Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that the USA would "under no circumstances allow the forced relocation of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip or the West Bank" or "the redrawing of the borders of the Gaza Strip". He spoke out in favor of a Palestinian state and emphasized that the Gaza Strip should "not remain a haven for Hamas."

On October 7, hundreds of Hamas fighters entered Israel and committed atrocities there, mostly against civilians. According to Israeli information, around 1,200 people were killed and around 240 people were taken hostage to the Gaza Strip.

In response, Israel began attacking targets in the Gaza Strip from the air and ground. According to Hamas figures, which cannot be independently verified, more than 14,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since then.