NATO Secy Gen welcomes extension of pause in hostilities in Gaza

Gaza: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that the alliance welcomed the extension of the Gaza ceasefire, which has allowed time for relief, the release of hostages and the delivery of aid.

“Today and tomorrow NATO foreign ministers will address different pressing security issues, including the situation in the Middle East. I welcome the extension of the pause in the hostilities in Gaza, this has allowed for much needed relief for the people in Gaza and also the release of more hostages and also the provision or delivery of more humanitarian aid,” Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

He added that other issues to be discussed during the gathering include the conflict in Ukraine as the alliance sees “intense fighting across the front line.” The secretary general also mentioned China and the Western Balkans as other topics for discussion.

Last week, Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas declared a four-day ceasefire to exchange some prisoners and hostages and to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. On November 27, Qatar announced that an agreement had been reached between the sides on a two-day extension of the humanitarian truce.

On October 7, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and abducting people. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel. On October 27, Israel launched a large-scale ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. The conflict has so far resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people in Israel and over 16,000 in the Gaza Strip.

UNI/SPUTNIK

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