Biden lauds role of Qatar, Egypt in Israel ceasefire


President glad the deal was secured, adds that he was grateful that the hostages will be reunited with their families…reports Asian Lite News

President Joe Biden has welcomed a Qatar and Egypt-brokered ceasefire to end Israel’s latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, highlighting the diplomatic role Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his team led in helping halt the deadly offensive on the besieged city.

“Over these last 72-hours, the United States has worked with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, and others throughout the region to encourage a swift resolution to the conflict,” Biden said in a statement.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement on Wednesday, confirming roughly 50 hostages abducted by the Hamas terror group in Gaza during the October 7 attack, will be released, reported The Times of Israel.

A post shared on Netanyahu’s X, formerly Twitter, page stated, “Tonight, the Government has approved the outline of the first stage of achieving this goal, according to which at least 50 hostages – women and children – will be released over four days, during which a pause in the fighting will be held.”

Similarly, the President, taking to his social media X, declared that he was glad the deal was secured, adding that he was grateful that the hostages will be reunited with their families.

“I welcome the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on October 7th.” The US president said. “I’m gratified that these brave souls, who have endured an unspeakable ordeal, will be reunited with their families once this deal is fully implemented.”

The President expressed his gratitude to regional partners, who were “critical” in ensuring the deal was passed.

Biden shared on X, “I thank Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for their critical partnership in reaching this deal. And I appreciate Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out”

Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken further added, “We welcome the release of 50 hostages, including Americans, from captivity in Gaza. I thank Qatar and Egypt for their partnership, and appreciate Israel’s support for a humanitarian pause that will allow additional humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza.”

Although a ceasefire has been permitted, the ongoing Gaza conflict has not come to an end, Netanyahu has stated, “The Israeli government, the IDF and the security forces will continue the war to return all the abductees, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that Gaza does not renew any threat to the State of Israel.”

Hamas have agreed to allow 50 hostages to return, however, there are still roughly 150 who will be under Hamas control, with over 200 hostages being abducted during the October 7 offensive into Israel.

The President says that he “will not stop until they are all released”, claiming that he has “no higher priority than ensuring the safety of Americans held hostage”, in a post shared on X.

Biden said he welcomed the deal. “Today’s deal should bring home additional American hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released,” he said in a statement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also welcomed the foreign-mediated humanitarian deal and called for wider solutions to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abbas’ administration, based in the occupied West Bank, “appreciate(s) the Qatari-Egyptian (mediation) effort”, wants an extended truce with Israel and “the implementation of a political solution based on international legitimacy,” a social media post by senior Palestinian aide Hussein Al-Sheikh said.

The Qatar government said 50 civilian women and children hostages would be released from Gaza in exchange for the release “of a number of Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.”

The starting time of the truce would be announced within the next 24 hours, it said in a statement.

The accord is the first truce of a war in which Israeli bombardments have flattened swathes of Hamas-ruled Gaza, killed 13,300 civilians in the tiny densely populated enclave and left about two-thirds of its 2.3 million people homeless, according to authorities in Gaza.

But Netanyahu said Israel’s broader mission was unchanged.

“We are at war and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals. To destroy Hamas, return all our hostages and ensure that no entity in Gaza can threaten Israel,” he said in a recorded message at the start of the government meeting.

Hamas said in its statement: “As we announce the striking of a truce agreement, we affirm that our fingers remain on the trigger, and our victorious fighters will remain on the look out to defend our people and defeat the occupation.”

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