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US President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu discuss hostage situation and ceasefire talks

US President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu discuss hostage situation and ceasefire talks
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 28, 2024 11:27 PM

Biden and Netanyahu discusses augmentation of humanitarian aid deliveries into Gaza, with plans to open a new northern crossing as Biden reiterated his stance against Israeli military incursions into Rafah

President Joe Biden engaged in a crucial phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, where the two leaders addressed the pressing issue of freeing hostages held by Hamas since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel. The White House revealed that discussions centered on ongoing negotiations aimed at securing the release of hostages, along with an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The intensification of diplomatic efforts underscores the urgency of reaching a much-needed truce in the conflict-stricken region. Israel, in particular, has faced mounting pressure both internationally and domestically to broker a ceasefire and secure the release of hostages abducted by the Palestinian militant group.

Key mediators, including Egypt, Qatar, and the United States, have been actively involved in facilitating negotiations for a new truce over the past few months.

In addition to the hostage situation, Biden and Netanyahu also delved into the augmentation of humanitarian aid deliveries into Gaza. The White House statement disclosed plans to open new northern crossings this week to facilitate the provision of essential assistance. Emphasizing the importance of sustained progress, President Biden underscored the necessity for full coordination with humanitarian organizations to address the burgeoning crisis in Gaza.

As humanitarian agencies continue to sound alarm bells over the deteriorating situation in Gaza, the pressure on Israel to permit more aid into the territory has mounted, both from the international community and specifically from the United States.

Moreover, President Biden reiterated his staunch stance against any Israeli military incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Netanyahu’s pledge to deploy troops to Rafah, where over 1.5 million civilians have sought refuge, has been met with concern from the Biden administration.

While reaffirming support for Israel, the administration has consistently voiced apprehension over the civilian casualties resulting from the Gaza offensive and urged restraint, particularly concerning any potential military action in Rafah.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:51 PM