December 10, 2023

The release of the hostages held by Hamas could lead to a surge in the delivery of humanitarian aid and a significant pause in fighting in Gaza, according to US President Joe Biden’s top adviser on the Middle East, Brett McGurk. Speaking at the IISS Manama Dialogue security summit in Bahrain, McGurk emphasized the potential for a “significant change” upon the release of the hostages.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s crown prince, who also spoke at the summit, called on Hamas to release Israeli women and children held hostage, while also urging Israel to release Palestinian women and children from its prisons. The crown prince stressed the importance of releasing non-combatants as part of a potential exchange.

Additionally, a top foreign policy adviser to the United Arab Emirates President expressed concern over statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding a longer-term presence in Gaza. Anwar Gargash, speaking at the summit in Bahrain, referred to these statements as “worrying” and emphasized the need to reevaluate the approach to the Gaza crisis in order to ultimately return to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

Overall, the discussions at the summit highlighted the potential for significant changes in the region’s dynamics should the issue of hostages and long-term presence in Gaza be effectively addressed.