NEW YORK, November 6. /TASS/. The Israeli authorities, including the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have refused Washington any form of pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh said on his Substack blog, citing sources.
"The requests by [US] President Joe Biden and [US] Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who recently visited Tel Aviv, for a bombing ‘pause’ were rejected out of hand by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli military leadership," the journalist said.
According to Hersh, who quotes an unnamed US official, "a ceasefire and a [humanitarian] pause are seen by the Israeli leadership as the same thing: a halt in the bombing." The Israeli military leadership, the journalist noted, believes that Tel Aviv's suspension of hostilities is possible "only to reload" its weapons systems.
Earlier, in light of statements, including by the US, about the need to establish "humanitarian pauses" to help the population of the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu said that Israel would not agree to a ceasefire unless the hostages held in the enclave are released.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when militants from the radical Palestinian group Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel has announced a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and has been delivering air strikes on Gaza as well as some parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also underway in the West Bank.