Statement by President von der Leyen on the agreement between Israel and Hamas on the release of hostages and a pause in hostilities

I wholeheartedly welcome the agreement reached on the release of the 50 hostages and on a pause in hostilities. Every day these mothers and children are held hostage by terrorists is one too many. I share the joy of the families who can soon embrace their loved ones again. And I am so grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly through diplomatic channels in recent weeks to broker this agreement. I call on the terrorist Hamas to immediately release all hostages and allow them to return home safely.

The European Commission will do its utmost to use this pause for a humanitarian surge to Gaza. I have asked the Commissioner Janez Lenarčič to upscale further shipments to Gaza as quickly as possible to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.