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Israel to give its Gaza action ‘tactical pause’ for humanitarian purposes

The Israeli army has declared to hold a “tactical pause” of military operations for humanitarian purposes from 5:00 GMT to 16:00 GMT (10:30 am to 9:30 pm, IST).
The pause will be assumed along the road from Kerem Shalom crossing to Salah al-Din Road and then northwards.
The decision will extend relief to parts of southern Gaza, allowing more aid to flow into the enclave, where international aid organisations have warned of a growing humanitarian crisis.
This comes after Qatari and Egyptian mediators backed by the United States tried to halt hostilities, secure the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinians jailed in Israel, and get aid flowing into shattered Gaza to ease a humanitarian crisis.
Last month, a senior United Nations official had said that northern Gaza is now witnessing a full-blown famine after more than seven months of conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as severe Israeli restrictions on food deliveries to the Palestinian territory.
Cindy McCain, the American director of the UN World Food Program, said that civilians in the most isolated part of Gaza have crossed the threshold into famine.
“It’s horror. There is famine – full-blown famine – in the north, and it’s moving its way south.” McCain told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ in an interview.
McCain further called for the urgent need for a cease-fire and an increase in aid through land and sea routes to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The announcement also comes days after the Israeli military successfully rescued four hostages who were abducted by Hamas during an attack on October 7.
Meanwhile, Israel has maintained that it is prepared to discuss only temporary pauses in the fighting until the militant group is destroyed and Gaza poses no more security threat.
Hamas triggered the war when militants stormed across the border into southern Israel last October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking over 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. About half the hostages were freed in the November truce.
Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza since then has killed over 36,000 people, according to health officials in the coastal enclave, who say thousands more dead are feared buried under rubble, with most of the 2.3 million population displaced.
(With Reuters inputs)

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