Biden says he’s asked Israel for a longer-than 3-day humanitarian pause 

November 9, 2023

President Biden on Thursday said he has been asking Israel for a humanitarian pause in its war with Hamas that’s “a lot more than three days” long.

Earlier this week but U.S. and Israeli officials said that during his call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone on Monday, that the leaders agreed to a three-day pause in the fighting to allow progress in releasing some of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

While speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Thursday ahead of traveling to Illinois to make an economic speech, Biden said, “You know, I’ve been asking for a pause for a lot more than three days…I’ve asked for even a longer pause.”

When asked whether he was frustrated with Netanyahu, Biden responded, “It’s taken longer than I’d hoped.”

Also on Thursday morning, National Security Counsel spokesman John Kirby said Israel had agreed to daily, four-hour pauses in the fighting, aimed at allowing people to move to the south of Gaza and retrieve food and medicine.

When asked about securing the freedom of the 240 Hamas-held hostages, Biden said, “We’re hopeful. Things are moving along.”

On Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported that U.S. and Qatari officials were attempting to work out a deal between Israel and Hamas aimed at the release of a number of hostages—including at least six Americans—in exchange for a short cease-fire.

On Tuesday, citing an unnamed source, Axios reported that under a proposal being discussed between the U.S., Israel and Qatar, Hamas would release 10-15 hostages. A three-day pause would allow time to verify the identities of all the hostages and deliver a list of names of the people Hamas is holding.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the two sides had come close to an agreement two weeks ago to release up to 50 hostages in exchange for a pause in Israeli airstrikes. Israel delayed its ground offensive in Gaza amid the talks, but proceeded with the offensive on October 27 after talks stalled.

PHOTO: Israeli Kibbutz Kfar Aza with Gaza City in background, per IDF

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