Many leaders around the globe have been calling for a pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in recent weeks. Following the news that Israel’s government agreed to a hostage deal on Wednesday morning, there was one word on many politicians’ tongues: progress.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday night that the talks marked “significant progress” but said the country would not “rest as long as Hamas continues to hold hostages in Gaza.”
The United Kingdom‘s Foreign Secretary David Cameron described the agreement between Israel and Hamas as a “crucial step towards providing relief to the families of the hostages and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”
Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong has also hailed the deal as a sign of progress.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel said they welcomed the breakthrough deal between Israel and Hamas on the release of hostages, Michel adding that he was “grateful to Qatar and Egypt who helped broker it.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov described the deal as “the first good news from Gaza in a very long time,” and added that Russia has consistently advocated for a truce and humanitarian pauses.
China‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning said they hoped the deal “will help to alleviate the difficult humanitarian crisis, de-escalate the conflict and ease tensions.”
Qatar — a key negotiator — said it hoped the pause in fighting could help pave the way towards a long-term solution.
Mohammed Al-Khulaifi, Minister of State at Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the country’s priority was now working on efforts to secure a “long-term ceasefire, end the war and work towards lasting peace.”
That sentiment was echoed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who “welcomed the success” of the Egyptian-Qatari-American mediation in implementing a humanitarian truce, but renewed his commitment to finding a “final and sustainable” solution.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also welcomed the hostage deal – but renewed his calls for a full ceasefire, according to state-run Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Remember: Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day humanitarian pause to allow the release of at least 50 hostages – women and children – held in Gaza. The deal will also involve the release of 150 Palestinians, including women and children, held in Israeli prisons.