update deskIsrael at War

International leaders welcome Israel-Hamas truce

“I welcome the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist group Hamas,” U.S. President Joe Biden said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in New York, Sept. 20. 2023. Credit: Cameron Smith/Official White House photo.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in New York, Sept. 20. 2023. Credit: Cameron Smith/Official White House photo.

World leaders and governments welcomed the hostage deal approved by Israel’s Cabinet early on Wednesday.

“Today’s deal is a testament to the tireless diplomacy and determination of many dedicated individuals across the United States government to bring Americans home,” U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday night in Washington.

“I welcome the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist group Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on Oct. 7,” Biden said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Today’s outcome is the result of tireless diplomacy and relentless effort across the department and broader United States government.”

“I appreciate the leadership and ongoing partnership of Egypt and Qatar in this work,” the secretary said. “I also thank the government of Israel for supporting a humanitarian pause that will facilitate the transfer of hostages to safety and allow additional humanitarian assistance to reach Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said in a statement on Wednesday that she welcomed the hostage deal.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the agreement reached on the release of the 50 hostages and on a pause in hostilities. Every day these mothers and children are held hostage by terrorists is one too many. I share the joy of the families who can soon embrace their loved ones again. And I am so grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly through diplomatic channels in recent weeks to broker this agreement,” she said.

“I call on the terrorist Hamas to immediately release all hostages and allow them to return home safely.”

High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said on Wednesday that the European Union was ready to assist in humanitarian efforts during the pause in fighting.

“The humanitarian pause must be used to provide as much urgently needed aid as possible to the civilians enduring the devastating war in Gaza. The EU will do its part in providing assistance,” Borrell wrote on X.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz embraced the news of the hostage deal and backed the Israeli government in its decision.

“The agreement on the release of some hostages is good news. The Israeli government has done the right thing. We thank all the governments involved and continue to support them diplomatically to ensure that this agreement is successfully implemented,” Scholz posted to his X account on Wednesday.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron on Wednesday emphasized the importance of the agreement, calling it an opportunity to deliver more humanitarian aid to the Strip.

“This agreement to release some hostages held in Gaza is a crucial step. This pause in the fighting is an opportunity to ensure much greater volumes of food, fuel and other life-saving aid can reach Gaza,” he tweeted.

“I urge all parties to ensure the agreement is delivered in full. We want to see all hostages released immediately and families affected by the horrors of the Oct. 7 terror attack reunited,” he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron, too, welcomed the agreement in a statement on Wednesday.

“I welcome the announcement of an agreement for the release of hostages and a humanitarian truce. We are working tirelessly to ensure that all hostages are released. The announced humanitarian truce should make it possible to bring in aid and bring relief to the population of Gaza,” tweeted Macron.

Reaction of Russia, Palestinian Authority

Moscow also hailed the truce, calling it “the first good news from Gaza in a very long time,” AFP reported.

“Russia and most countries in the world have been calling for a ceasefire and for a humanitarian pause. Because it is only on the basis of these kinds of pauses that some outlines of future attempts at a sustainable settlement can be built,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The Palestinian Authority also weighed in, saying that the deal was welcome.

“[P.A.] President Abbas and the leadership welcome the humanitarian truce agreement, we appreciate the Qatari-Egyptian effort that has been made, and we renew the call for a comprehensive cessation of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, the introduction of humanitarian aid and the implementation of a political solution based on international legitimacy, leading to an end to the occupation and the Palestinian people gaining their freedom, independence, and sovereignty,” tweeted PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh.

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