A temporary cease-fire has gone into effect in Gaza, halting the bombing that has gone on for more than a month. Qatar, which brokered negotiations, announced Wednesday that fighting will cease for four days. Hamas will release 50 hostages, and Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners. All released prisoners will be women and minors.
Administration officials are feeling tentatively vindicated over the cease-fire deal, Politico reported Wednesday. The White House is taking it as a sign that Joe Biden’s strategy is working, although one official, speaking anonymously, acknowledged that there’s still “more to do.”
But the White House now has another issue on its hands. “There was some concern in the administration about an unintended consequence of the pause: that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel,” according to the Politico report.
At least 11,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s retaliation to the October 7 Hamas attack. Health officials in Gaza said Tuesday that they are no longer able to get an accurate death toll because of the ongoing Israeli attacks.
The fighting has also killed at least 53 journalists and media workers. But now that fighting will pause, more journalists can enter Gaza and show the full extent of destruction, which the administration has so far seemed content to ignore.
The majority of U.S. citizens back a cease-fire, and support has slowly but steadily grown among Democratic members of Congress. Biden, however, has until now resisted calling for an all-out cease-fire, even telling reporters two weeks ago that there was “no possibility” of one. His resistance to a cease-fire has contributed to a major disconnect between Biden and younger voters.