Israel will begin to implement four-hour pauses of military operations in areas of Northern Gaza each day, a White House spokesman said Thursday.

The pauses are meant to allow for humanitarian assistance to get into the besieged enclave and allow civilians to flee.

John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said Israel would announce the timing of the pauses three hours beforehand.

“We’ve been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause, and that this process is starting today,” Kirby said, calling it “steps in the right direction.”

“We have been urging the Israelis to minimize civilian casualties and to do everything that they can to reduce those numbers,” Kirby said, saying they would provide “breathing space for a few hours” for civilians to move out of harm’s way.

He also said it would provide “brief windows of opportunity” for safe passage of hostages behind held by Hamas.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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