Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023.

Shortly before the press conference Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held Wednesday night with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz, in preparation for closing the hostage deal, the PM spoke with President Joe Biden who asked him that Israel take steps to calm the northern front as well during the planned pause.

An official who is well versed in the details of the conversation told News 13 Thursday night that President Biden told the Prime Minister that he understands it would be possible to maintain calm on the northern border, and thinks it is right that Israel should act to promote it.


On Wednesday night, the White House issued a statement saying, “The President further emphasized the importance of maintaining calm along the Lebanese border as well as in the West Bank. The two leaders agreed to remain in close contact directly and through their teams over the coming days.”

The statement also said, “The two leaders discussed the pause in the fighting, which will allow for surging in much needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza. The Prime Minister thanked the President for his tireless efforts, and those of his team, to help broker this deal. The two leaders agreed that the work is not yet done and the President assured the Prime Minister that he will continue working to secure the release of all remaining hostages.”

Netanyahu ended the conversation without giving a concrete commitment one way or the other, and the issue likely came up in his discussion with the top political leaders.

The pause in the fighting in Gaza began Friday at 7:00 AM, and at 4:00 PM, 13 Israeli hostages – women and children up to the age of 19 – are expected to be released as part of the first phase of the deal with Hamas. In exchange, Israel will release 39 PA Arab prisoners, according to the agreement of freeing three Arab murderers for each innocent Jew released.


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