US Opposes Ceasefire in Gaza as Ally Israel Rains Bombs on Palestinians


Clarion India

PENTAGON – The Pentagon has said that it does not endorse a ceasefire in Israel’s war on besieged Gaza, where Israeli land and air strikes have killed more than 9,000 Palestinian civilians, mainly women and children.

“We do not support a ceasefire in that that gives time for Hamas to regroup, which is something that would put Israeli citizens and others in danger,” spokesman Pat Ryder said at a press briefing on Thursday while referring to Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

“I’ve heard however, the president say that the US government does support humanitarian pauses to enable humanitarian aid to get in, hostages to get out as well as other citizens,” said the spokesman.

US President Joe Biden has called for humanitarian pauses that would involve a “temporary, localised” cessation of hostilities — well short of a general ceasefire — a senior White House official said on Thursday.

At a campaign event on Wednesday, Biden was urged by a member of the audience to call for a ceasefire in the war. Biden replied, “I think we need a pause.”

Talking to reporters on Thursday National Security Council spokesman John Kirby clarified what such a pause would entail.

“A humanitarian pause … is temporary, localised and focused, focused on a particular objective or objectives, humanitarian aid in, people out,” Kirby said.

He added, “The general idea is that in that geographic space, for that limited time, there would be a cessation of hostilities, enough to allow whatever it is you’re trying to allow.”

The White House has previously called for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid to be delivered into Gaza or to carry out evacuations, but has so far refused to discuss a ceasefire.

Kirby confirmed that position.

“We aren’t advocating for a general ceasefire at this point,” he said. “As I said earlier, we believe that a general ceasefire would benefit Hamas in providing them breathing space and time to continue to plot and execute attacks on, on the Israeli people.”

Operation Al Aqsa Flood

The current conflict in besieged Gaza, under Israeli bombardment and blockade since October 7, began when Hamas resistance fighters initiated Operation Al Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

Hamas said the blitz, during which it also grabbed 240 hostages, was in retaliation for the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the daily violence by illegal Israeli settlers. Israel claims some 1,400 people were killed in the raid.

Israel has since then bombarded the enclave, home to 2.3 million people, and also sent tanks and artilleries, killing thousands of Palestinian civilians, including more than 3,600 children.

The statements from the White House come as Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads on yet another crisis trip to Israel to seek “concrete measures” from its ally to minimise harm to Gaza civilians.

Biden has promised full support and ramped-up military aid to Israel for its strikes in Gaza following a Hamas blitz, but in a visible shift of tone has also voiced empathy for Palestinian suffering, which has stoked anger in the Arab world and decreased Biden’s popularity among Muslim Americans.

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