Humanitarian Pause in Gaza

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is humanitarian pause?
  • What is ceasefire?
  • News Summary: Humanitarian Pause in Gaza
  • Key highlights of the deal

Why in news?

  • Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian pause in fighting in Gaza.
  • This was agreed upon to allow for the release of 50 hostages held by the militant group in exchange for 150 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and also to allow for more aid to enter the enclave.
  • Facilitated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, the pause will last for four days, subject to extension.

What is humanitarian pause?

  • About
    • The United Nations defines a "humanitarian pause" as a temporary stop to fighting for the sole purpose of humanitarian aid.
    • These pauses typically have a specific time frame and are limited to a particular area where aid activities are happening.
    • The humanitarian pause simply provides some relief amidst the relentless hostilities with an aim to help civilians in distress.
  • Pause in Gaza
    • The statement from Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not clear about the specific location of the pause but mentions it will last for four days.
    • The duration may be extended if ongoing negotiations are successful.

What is ceasefire?

  • About
    • A ceasefire is more extensive than a humanitarian pause.
    • According to the UN, a ceasefire is an agreement between conflicting parties to temporarily stop fighting.
    • This pause is usually part of a political process, aiming to create an opportunity for dialogue and potentially reach a lasting political resolution.
    • Simply put, unlike a humanitarian pause, a ceasefire is a longer-term arrangement to stop fighting in order to arrive at a political/diplomatic solution.
  • Israel and its allies in the West are strongly opposed to a ceasefire
    • This is because they feel it will allow Hamas to regroup, thus nullifying Israel’s ongoing efforts.
    • Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the war against Hamas would resume after the truce expires.

News Summary: Humanitarian Pause in Gaza

  • Recently, Qatar announced the success of mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas, resulting in an agreement for a humanitarian pause.

Key highlights of the deal

  • Prisoner swap
    • Under the deal, the two sides agreed to a four-day truce so that 50 women and children under the age of 19 taken hostage could be freed.
    • This will be in return for 150 Palestinian women and teenagers in Israeli detention.
    • The 50 hostages, among about 240 taken by Hamas in their Oct. 7 raid on Israel, are expected to be released in batches.
  • Pause can be extended
    • It will be extended by a day for each additional batch of 10 hostages released.
  • When does the deal start
    • The Qatari negotiator said the timing for the start of the truce would be announced soon.
  • Implementation of the deal
    • The International Committee of the Red Cross will work in Gaza to facilitate the release of the hostages.
    • The hostages are expected to be transported through Egypt, the only country apart from Israel to share a border with Gaza.
    • During the truce, trucks loaded with aid and fuel are expected to cross into Gaza.
      • In Gaza, 2.3 million people have been running out of food and many hospitals have shut down in part because they no longer have fuel for their generators.

Q1) What is humanitarian aid?

Humanitarian aid is material and logistical assistance provided to people in need. It's usually short-term help until long-term assistance from the government and other institutions replaces it.

Q2) Where is Gaza?

The Gaza Strip or simply Gaza, is a political entity and the smaller of the two Palestinian territories (the other being the West Bank). On the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza is bordered by Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the east and north.

Source: Humanitarian pause in Gaza: How it is not the same as a ceasefire | Economic Times