Pause vs Ceasefire:
Whilst Israel’s allies have called for a humanitarian pause, Palestinian allies have called for a permanent and immediate ceasefire to end all hostilities between Israel and Hamas. These contrasting calls of action have contributed to the several failed resolutions at recent UN conferences that have attempted to achieve an agreement on the Israel-Palestine war. However, on November the 24th, a four-day Gaza truce, agreed upon by Israel and Hamas, took effect.
To extend the truce, Hamas members began to free Israeli hostages in exchange for more Palestinian prisoners to be released. At least 10 Israeli’s, and those from other nationalities, have been released per day during the pause for the safe return of at least 30 Palestinian hostages.
In addition to the exchange of hostages, the US have said that they are working “by the hour” with countries such as Qatar, Egypt and Israel in an attempt to extend the truce. Despite these agreements, many residents in the Gaza strip remain fearful, only exacerbated by a recent shooting at a West Jerusalem bus station, killing at least 3 people, and approximately wounding 16.
A family being reunited after the mother and children (who were hostages) were released.
What is a ceasefire?
According to the United Nations, a ceasefire is mainly defined as being a ‘cessation of all acts of violence against the civilian population.”
What is a humanitarian pause?
It is defined as a “temporary cessation of hostilities purely for humanitarian processes”
Why are these two terms important?
Hundreds of world leader’s speeches at the UN between 7th October and 15th November have been analysed. It has been found that 23% of the UN countries have called for a pause, cessation or respite in hostilities between Israel and Gaza, 55% have called for a ceasefire and the remaining 22% have said neither. This has emphasised how important language is in shaping warfare and conflicts.
As ever, I would strongly encourage everyone to read further into the war; I have only covered the main events of this week and there are bound to be more recent updates since this article is published.