World reactions to Israel-Hamas truce

Agreement will see some captives released from Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Posters showing three children being held captive by Hamas in Gaza
A woman puts up posters of Israeli children held captive in Gaza during a protest in Tel Aviv, Israel [Ariel Schalit/AP Photo]

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day truce mediated by Qatar that will see the release of 50 women and children held captive in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails.

The deal was announced on Wednesday, and the starting time is expected to be confirmed within the next 24 hours, according to a statement from Qatar.

The agreement also includes desperately needed humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza following weeks of relentless Israeli attacks that have killed more than 14,100 people, including 5,600 children, and forced about 1.7 million from their homes.

About 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attack on Israel.

Here are some reactions to the announcement:


Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning

The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed hopes that the move “will help alleviate the plight of the humanitarian crisis, promote the de-escalation of conflicts, and ease tensions”.

European Union

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Von der Leyen welcomed the agreement reached between Israel and Hamas on the release of 50 captives and a pause in hostilities in Gaza.

“The European Commission will do its utmost to use this pause for a humanitarian surge to Gaza,” she said in a statement.


President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Egypt hailed the success of the mediation it conducted alongside Qatar and the United States in brokering a “humanitarian truce” in the Gaza Strip.

Sisi also welcomed the planned “exchange of hostages for prisoners” held in Israeli jails, the president’s office said.


Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna

Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna stated: “We hope that there will be French people among the first batch of hostages to be released.”

Human Rights Watch

Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir

“Following the mass atrocities of recent weeks, today’s agreement is welcome.

“Hostage-taking and blocking of life-saving aid are war crimes that are never justified. Human beings are not bargaining chips. Ceasefire or not, unlawful attacks should cease once and for all.”


Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian

Iran announced that Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian will begin a regional tour, starting in Lebanon, following the deal announcement between Israel and Hamas.

“The visit is in line with Iran’s diplomatic efforts to halt the Zionist regime’s attacks on Gaza, lift the blockade and send humanitarian aid to the oppressed people of Gaza,” Nournews agency, affiliated to Iran’s top security body, reported.


Israeli government

“The Government of Israel is obligated to return home all of the hostages,” it said in a statement.

“The government of Israel, [the Israeli army] and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir

The far-right Israeli minister, who voted against the truce deal, has slammed the agreement, saying it sets a “dangerous precedent” and “changes the equation”.

While he says that there is an “advantage” to the deal with the return of captives, “we have no right and authority to agree to the idea of ​​separating them and returning only a part”.

“Hamas wanted this time-out more than anything,” he said on X.

“This decision will cause us great harm for generations,” he was quoted as saying by Israeli media during the government meeting.


Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi

The Jordanian foreign minister expressed some dismay about the deal, saying a “broader plan for Gaza” is needed and warning against the risk of ethnic cleansing.

Despite the truce deal, there is still a huge gap in the delivery of necessary humanitarian aid, and the future of the residents of northern Gaza is in jeopardy, he added. “People must be empowered to remain in their homes, not displaced.”

Furthermore, Safadi said, the situation in the West Bank is deteriorating with “potential for an explosion of violence getting very high”.


PLO Executive Committee Secretary Hussein al-Sheikh

“President Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership welcome the humanitarian truce agreement, appreciate the Egyptian [and] Qatari effort that has been exerted.”

The PLO statement called “for a comprehensive cessation of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people” and reiterated the need for “humanitarian aid, and the implementation of a political solution based on international legitimacy that leads to the end of the occupation and the achievement of the Palestinian people’s freedom, independence and sovereignty”.


Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

Sheikh Mohammed wrote on X that the Gulf state hoped the deal would “establish a comprehensive and sustainable agreement” that would “put an end to the war and the bloodshed and lead to serious talks for a comprehensive and just peace process”.


Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov

The Kremlin hailed the agreement as the “first good news for a long time”.

“Russia and most countries in the world have been calling for a ceasefire and for a humanitarian pause. Because it is only on the basis of these kinds of pauses that some outlines of future attempts at a sustainable settlement can be built,” Peskov said.

Saudi Arabia

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud

“Humanitarian aid should be sustained and expanded, and it should not later become contingent on further hostage releases,” said Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

“Punishing the civilian population of Gaza for the holding of those hostages is absolutely not acceptable,” he added.


President Tayyip Erdogan

The Turkish president said he is considering going to Egypt to help arrange more help for the injured in Gaza.

The Islamic world must act in a spirit of unity and solidarity on Gaza, Erdogan told reporters. “When that fist hits the table with all its force, it will not be possible for Israel to continue its occupation or oppression.”

He said efforts must be made to ensure a ceasefire, deliver sufficient aid to Gaza and rebuild the city using economic, political and diplomatic means.

“We must force Israel to comply with international law and be held accountable for its actions,” he added.

“I may arrange a trip to Egypt as soon as possible,” Erdogan said, to discuss evacuations of the injured.

United Kingdom

Foreign Minister David Cameron

Cameron stated that the pause was a “crucial step towards providing relief to the families of the hostages and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“I urge all parties to ensure the agreement is delivered in full,” Cameron said.

United States

President Joe Biden

Biden welcomed the deal and thanked Qatar and Egypt for their efforts to secure the agreement.

“Jill and I have been keeping all those held hostage and their loved ones close to our hearts these many weeks, and I am extraordinarily gratified that some of these brave souls, who have endured weeks of captivity and an unspeakable ordeal, will be reunited with their families once this deal is fully implemented,” he said in a statement.

He stressed it needed to be “carried through in its entirety” and that it was “important that all aspects of this deal be fully implemented”.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Blinken, replying to Biden’s statement on X, applauded the role of the US in the deal.

“Today’s outcome is the result of tireless diplomacy and relentless effort across the United States government,” he posted.

“While this deal marks significant progress, we will not rest as long as Hamas continues to hold hostages in Gaza.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Schumer, who leads the US Senate, said he was “pleased and relieved” that 50 captives would soon be returning to their families.

He said it was a “positive development” that the pause in fighting would “allow additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza for the millions of innocent Palestinians who have nothing to do with Hamas” and said the Senate would “continue working to pass additional humanitarian assistance for innocent Palestinians, and make sure that Israel has the aid it needs to defend itself to ensure Hamas can never again pose such a threat to Israel”.

Vatican City

Pope Francis

Pope Francis said the conflict had gone beyond war to become “terrorism” after separate meetings with Israeli relatives of hostages held by Hamas, as well as Palestinians with family in Gaza.

Speaking in unscripted remarks at his Wednesday general audience in St Peter’s Square, Francis said he heard directly how “both sides are suffering”.

United Nations

UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell

Russell, who has recently returned from a trip to southern Gaza, welcomed the agreement to pause the fighting but said the truce was not enough to save lives.

“For children to survive…, for humanitarian workers to stay and effectively deliver…, humanitarian pauses are simply not enough,” she told the UN Security Council.

Russell called for “an urgent humanitarian ceasefire to immediately put a stop to this carnage.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies