newsIsrael at War

Herzog to Harris: No ceasefire until hostages returned

The U.S. vice president called the Israeli leader to express solidarity with the Jewish state as it marked one month since Hamas's Oct. 7 massacre of 1,400 people.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris discuss a new climate initiative at the White House complex on July 19, 2023. Source: YouTube.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris discuss a new climate initiative at the White House complex on July 19, 2023. Source: YouTube.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog told U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday that there would be no ceasefire in the fighting against Hamas until the Palestinian terrorist group releases over 240 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip.

Harris called Herzog to express solidarity with the Jewish state as the country marked one month since Hamas’s Oct. 7 invasion and massacre of 1,400 people.

Herzog “reiterated the appreciation of the Israeli people for the steadfast support of President [Joe] Biden and his administration… and noted that the immediate and unconditional return of the hostages was Israel’s prime concern,” according to an Israeli statement.

The president “repeated Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s statement… that there could be no ceasefire without the release of hostages held by Hamas, which include women, men, the elderly, children and babies as young as 10 months old,” per the readout.

Harris expressed “her support for Israel’s right to defend itself and stressed the importance of the well-being of the civilian population and the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” said the statement.

In response, Herzog emphasized that Jerusalem is committed to abiding by international humanitarian law as it continues to defend itself and uproot Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure, which is embedded within Gaza’s civilian population.

The president also noted “Israel’s ongoing commitment to the supply of humanitarian aid to Gaza which had increased significantly in recent days, even while Israeli hostages were denied access to the International Red Cross and no information about their well-being was provided,” according to the statement.

Lastly, the two leaders spoke of their shared concern about the dramatic rise in antisemitism around the world, with Herzog expressing alarm over the death of a supporter of Israel following a pro-Hamas demonstration in the U.S.

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