The ceasefire that the United States is negotiating with other allies in the Middle East for Gaza will last for “at least six weeks,” President Joe Biden told Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House on Tuesday. Said after welcoming, when Israel was preparing. An offensive against the city of Rafah, where 1.3 million people live and where humanitarian organizations have warned there could be bloodshed. Tenant…
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The ceasefire that the United States is negotiating with other allies in the Middle East for Gaza will last for “at least six weeks,” President Joe Biden told Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House on Tuesday. Said after welcoming, when Israel was preparing. An offensive against the city of Rafah, home to 1.3 million people and where humanitarian organizations have warned there could be bloodshed. The White House tenant was optimistic about the possibility of closing a deal that would allow a hostage swap between Israel and Hamas in exchange for a longer-term cease-fire, which Washington hopes will lead to “something more permanent.” Will: “The key elements are on the table,” he said, though he clarified that “there are still gaps.”
The President’s tone when speaking about the war in the Strip was more critical than on previous occasions. Along with his Arab colleagues, who arrived in Washington to ask for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped in Gaza, he pointed to the “unimaginable loss and pain” of that population, “exposed and vulnerable, which needs “to be protected” and in many cases had already been displaced from one place to another during the four months of war.
Biden announced, “The United States is working on a hostage agreement between Israel and Hamas that will lead to a period of peace in Gaza lasting at least six weeks.” The president, widely criticized in sectors of his own party for his unconditional support for Israel, repeated in a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday what he had already warned: Rafah on the border with Egypt. The attack, however, should not proceed until Israel has a “credible” security plan for the Palestinian population.
Biden, who in November questioned the death toll provided by the Palestinian health ministry, alleging it was controlled by the radical Hamas militia, now acknowledged the death toll is more than 27,000, including thousands of children. Including, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians do not have access. For food, water and basic services. But he stopped short of demanding a permanent ceasefire, nor announcing punitive measures towards Israel, as demanded by international representatives including European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell.
The Jordanian king made his first visit to Washington since a drone strike by Iraq’s pro-Iranian militia against a US post in Jordan last month killed three US soldiers and wounded forty others. “We need a permanent armistice now,” the Sovereign insisted, “this war must end.” He was also clear about Israeli threats to attack Rafah: “We cannot allow this. “This would lead to a humanitarian disaster.”
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The Hashemite king also called for the entry of more humanitarian aid into Gaza “through every possible means” and defended UNRWA, the United Nations agency for aid to the Palestinian territories. Several Western countries, including the United States, have suspended their contributions while investigating allegations that some of their employees played a role in the October 7 Hamas attacks against Israel. “It is essential that UNRWA receives support to continue its operations,” he said. This is essential for the delivery of aid to the civilian population in Gaza.
During their meeting, the two leaders also discussed the future of the Palestinian territories after the war, in addition to talks for a temporary ceasefire. Biden said the two discussed the need to “immediately” reform the Palestinian Authority to take at least part of the authority in Gaza to replace Hamas. “They must be prepared to build a state that embraces peace, that does not harbor terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Biden said.
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