Israel Policy Forum welcomes the announcement of a deal between Israel and Hamas to release 50 hostages that Hamas captured during its devastating terror attacks on Israeli communities on October 7. We thank President Biden and his administration for playing an essential role in securing this agreement. The hostage deal will facilitate a multi-day pause in the fighting to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. This deal will not end the fighting in Gaza or undermine Israel’s necessary campaign to eliminate the threats Hamas poses to its citizens. It also does not obviate the need for the United States and Israel to continue to work to secure the release of all remaining hostages, and for the world to hold Hamas to account for its ongoing war crime of holding them in captivity. 

This moment underscores the importance of U.S. support for Israel and its engagement with regional partners in the interests of the Israelis and Palestinians whose lives have been upended by the ongoing war. We hope that the U.S. and Israel will continue to work diligently for the release of the remaining hostages and to take the humanitarian needs of Palestinians into account while considering how to advance a viable political horizon for Gaza that ensures Israeli security and Palestinian self-determination.