As war continues to ravage Gaza, Israel has agreed to halt its military operations for four hours per day in the northern part of the region.
The plan for daily humanitarian pauses was announced by the White House on Thursday, 9 November, according to a report by Reuters.
What it means: According to White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby, these pauses in fighting could:
Allow people to flee safely along two humanitarian corridors
Help facilitate the release of hostages captured by Hamas
Yes, but: The daily four-hour pause in fighting is not likely to happen in one go, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to suggest.
"The fighting continues against the Hamas enemy, the Hamas terrorists, but in specific locations for a given period of a few hours here or a few hours there, we want to facilitate the safe passage of civilians away from the zone of fight and we're doing that," Netanyahu reportedly said in a Fox News interview.
Why it matters: This development comes amid growing calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict by several countries, including India. "Without a ceasefire, lifting of siege and indiscriminate bombarding and warfare, the haemorrhage of human lives will continue," Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The United Nations would need to coordinate any breaks in fighting, "especially on the issue of timings and location," said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
"And obviously, in order for this to be done safely for humanitarian purposes, it would have to be agreed with all parties to the conflict to be truly effective," he added.
In a nutshell: Israel unleashed an assault on the besieged Gaza Strip in response to a surprise attack by Hamas in southern Israel on 7 October.
The Hamas raid claimed the lives of 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
It also led to the capture of 240 hostages.
Israeli air and artillery strikes have killed over 10,812 Gaza residents so far, according to Palestinian officials.
With no basic supplies and proper healthcare, Gaza has witnessed a humanitarian crisis as thousands of helpless residents are attempting to flee the war-torn region.