The U.S. President has indicated a potential resolution to the ongoing Hamas-Israel war by indicating that he is actively working to broker a deal between the two conflicting factions. Biden, after a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II, has expressed the possibility of a six-week pause in fighting to facilitate the release of additional hostages held by Hamas.
President Joe Biden speaks as Jordan’s King Abdullah II listens in the Cross Hall of the White House, Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Washington. AP/PTI(AP02_13_2024_000012A)(AP)
“The key elements of the deal are on the table,” Biden said alongside the king, though “there are gaps that remain.” He said the US would do “everything possible” to make an agreement happen: a pause to fighting for at least six weeks and the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas.
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The proposed Gaza war peace deal
The proposed deal aims to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with about 100 hostages still held by Hamas out of the 240 were taken during the October 7 attack. About 100 of them were released during a previous ceasefire in November, and militants are believed to be holding the remains of more than 30 others, most of whom died in the Oct. 7 attacks. Biden said he has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as leaders of Qatar and Egypt, “to push this forward.”
The President, facing criticism for his support of Israel, also highlighted the tragic loss of innocent lives in both Gaza and Israel. He repeated his warning that Israel must not launch a full-scale attack on Rafah, the last major holdout of Hamas where more than 1.3 million people. “Too many of the over 27,000 Palestinians killed in this conflict have been innocent civilians including thousands of children,” Biden said. “And hundreds of thousands have no access to food, water and other basic services. Many families have lost not just one, but many relatives, and cannot mourn for them, even bury them, because it’s not safe to do so.”
‘We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah’
During the meeting, King Abdullah II emphasized the need for a lasting ceasefire, stating that the war must end. He praised Biden’s leadership in addressing the conflict and called for immediate action to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe.
The U.S. administration has been engaged in diplomatic efforts, and a framework for the deal is reportedly in place. The focus is on achieving a temporary pause in the conflict, delivering humanitarian aid, and securing the release of hostages.
Biden’s stance represents a shift, as he had previously opposed a permanent ceasefire and insisted on preventing Hamas from retaining control over Gaza. The situation is complex, with ongoing discussions about the future political and military control of the region after the conflict ends.
The meeting between President Biden and King Abdullah II is part of ongoing diplomatic efforts, with the U.S. aiming to play a key role in resolving the Gaza war and planning for the post-conflict scenario.