Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the news of a deal to release some fifty hostages held by Hamas and other militants in the Gaza Strip, and the agreement to a four day long ceasefire. The taking of hostages is a war crime, and we reiterate our call for the immediate release of all of the hostages, and for Red Cross access to those not being immediately released.
The mutually agreed upon ceasefire is a welcome development. The ceasefire will allow for both the release of hostages and the provision of essential humanitarian aid to Gazan civilians, including food, water, medicine and fuel. In addition, we welcome the reported agreement to release all Palestinian minors held in Israeli prisons.
APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “Releasing some hostages is a positive first step. The rest of the hostages should also be released immediately. In addition, I am pleased to see a mutually agreed upon ceasefire that, hopefully, will begin to shape a post-war reality on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border. Such a reality would end the hostilities, provide security and stability for Israel, address the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and kick off the challenging task of rebuilding Gaza. As President Biden thankfully asserts, this road must lead to a new era in Israeli-Palestinian relations, one that is governed by pursuit of an agreement that would result in two sovereign states for the benefit of both peoples.”