Monday, July 15, 2024

Seven weeks into a challenging crisis, President Biden found some solace in saving a 4-year-old girl who lost her parents in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel. The release of Avigail Idan from her Hamas captors this past weekend was a gratifying moment, but the challenge for Mr. Biden now is to not only free the remaining American hostages, but also to change the course of the war consuming Gaza.

During a brief visit to Nantucket, Mr. Biden expressed his goal of extending the temporary pause in the war between Israel and Hamas in order to secure the release of additional hostages and send more humanitarian aid into Gaza. Mr. Biden made calls to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and consulted with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, in an effort to turn these aspirations into a reality.

The president has American interests to consider as well, with 10 American hostages among the 240 taken by Hamas. He hopes an extension of the pause will result in the release of all American hostages. However, Mr. Netanyahu has indicated the intention to resume military operations against Hamas after the pause expires.

Mr. Biden supports Israel’s right to defend itself but hopes to recalibrate the war to minimize civilian casualties and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. However, it remains unclear what will happen when the temporary truce expires.

Overall, the pause in fighting has brought some criticism and support for Mr. Biden, with the release of Avigail providing a small but emotionally powerful victory in the midst of the turmoil in the region.

Thankfully, Avigail is now home, and Mr. Biden expressed relief in her release, calling on God to bless her and indicating his wish to hold her personally.

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