Joe Biden announced on Monday that a deal to release the hostages held in Gaza, accompanied by a pause of “at least six weeks” in hostilities between Israel and Hamas, is currently under discussion, AFP reports.
Joe BidenPhoto: Chris Kleponis / Pool via CNP / SplashNews.com / Splash / Profimedia
The American president, repeating the warning already issued several times by his administration, also indicated that Israel “must protect” the Palestinian civilians in Rafah in case of an Israeli offensive on this city in the south of the enclave.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II, during a joint speech with Joe Biden at the White House, said Monday that “there must be an immediate and lasting ceasefire” in Gaza.
“We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah. This would undoubtedly cause another humanitarian catastrophe,” the sovereign said, adding that “the situation was already unbearable for more than a million people who were pushed to (this city in the southern Gaza Strip) since the war started.
The United States remains opposed to a large-scale Israeli military operation in Rafah in the absence of measures to protect civilians in the Palestinian town on the border with Egypt, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Monday.
“Without a credible plan for that, which they (Israel) are able to implement, we do not support a large-scale military operation” in Rafah, he told reporters.
“We believe that the benefits of a pause and an agreement on the hostages would be enormous, first of all, obviously, for the hostages that would be released, but also for the humanitarian operation in Gaza, as well as for our ability to start looking for a real, viable and sustainable solution to this conflict”, he also declared.