| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

Israeli army will be defensively ‘standing strong’ during humanitarian truce: Report

An Israeli military spokesman told Sky News, that the Israeli army will be “standing strong” in defensive positions during the four-day humanitarian truce agreed with Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said the Israeli army is “happy” to see hostages held by Hamas released as part of the agreed deal but it only represented “one step forward”.

“What we know is that Hamas, given the chance, will probably try to abduct more and kill more and rape more and butcher more. We will be standing strong and prepared because we know Hamas has a dubious record with regard to holding fire in the past,” Lerner said.
He added: “They’ve utilized these types of pauses in the past to conduct more killing and abduction, so we need to be very strong in our defensive positions.”

The Israeli officer said a pause in fighting will make it “easier to maneuver and mobilize more aid,” however, “the situation on the ground is dictated by Hamas’s actions.”

After days of intense diplomatic flurry to reach a humanitarian truce in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war, with Qatar, Egypt and US efforts a four-day ceasefire and hostage/prisoner exchange deal was reached on Tuesday.

The conditions of the truce include the cessation of all hostilities from both sides, a halt of all Israeli military actions in all areas of the Gaza Strip, hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, relief, and medical aid will reach all areas of the Gaza Strip without exception, fuel deliveries will be allowed into the Gaza Strip, 50 captives will be released from the Gaza Strip and in exchange, 150 Palestinian prisoners will be released from Israeli prisons.

The Israeli cabinet stated that “immediately after the end of the pause in fighting needed to secure the release of the hostages, fighting will resume in the Gaza Strip in order to destroy the military and organizational capabilities of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and to create the conditions for the return of all the hostages.

Hamas said it welcomed the humanitarian truce which provided for the freeing of hostages held by the militant group in Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

“The provisions of this agreement were formulated according to the vision of the resistance and its determinants that aim to serve our people and enhance their steadfastness in the face of aggression,” Hamas said in a statement.

  • alarabiya