US President Joe Biden expressed optimism on Friday about the possibility of extending the humanitarian pause between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Speaking at a news conference in Massachusetts, Biden acknowledged the genuine chances of prolonging the four-day pause, characterising the recent release of hostages in Gaza as just the beginning of a broader process.
Highlighting that the hostage release on Friday marked the commencement of a significant initiative, Biden anticipated the release of additional hostages in the coming days. He conveyed a commitment to working towards the release of those still held captive, including two American women and 4-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, who remains missing. Biden emphasised his ongoing personal communication with leaders from Qatar, Egypt, and Israel to ensure the sustained progress and comprehensive implementation of the agreement.
In his remarks, Biden underscored the critical opportunity presented by the extended pause to deliver essential humanitarian aid, such as food, medicine, water, and fuel, to the civilians in Gaza. He noted that since his recent visit to Israel, efforts have been concentrated on expediting the delivery of aid in collaboration with the United Nations and the Red Cross. Biden, referencing a conversation with David Satterfield, the US special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues, affirmed the continuous commitment to ensuring the effective distribution of aid to those in need. The President also mentioned that information regarding the second wave of hostages released from the Gaza Strip would be provided to the US shortly.