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'I continued to affirm that Israel has a right to go after Hamas, a group of terrorists'

1 min

The United States made a fresh push on Tuesday for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Joe Biden © Mena Today 

The United States made a fresh push on Tuesday for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a trip to the Middle East, where he would meet senior leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to "discuss the right architecture for a lasting peace".

Ceasefire talks are resuming this week in Qatar after Israel rejected a Hamas counter-proposal last week. An Israeli delegation headed by the country's spy chief travelled to Qatar on Monday, although an Israeli official said Israel believed any agreement would take at least two weeks to nail down.

Both sides have been discussing a six-week truce during which around 40 Israeli hostages would be freed in return for hundreds of Palestinian detainees and aid would be rushed into the Gaza Strip.

But they have yet to narrow differences over what would follow the truce, with Israel saying it will negotiate only for a temporary pause in fighting, and Hamas saying it will not release hostages without a wider plan to end the war.

Biden and Netanyahu spoke by phone on Monday, after which White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Washington wanted to discuss Israel's military plans before any assault on Rafah.

After this phone call, Joe Biden posted this message on X.

‘Today, I spoke again with Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the latest developments in Israel and Gaza. I continued to affirm that Israel has a right to go after Hamas, a group of terrorists responsible for the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust. And I reiterated the need for an immediate ceasefire as part of a deal to free hostages, lasting several weeks, so we can get hostages home and surge aid to civilians in Gaza. I asked the Prime Minister to send a team to Washington to discuss ways to target Hamas without a major ground operation in Rafah’.

Writing by Peter Graff

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