Shafaq News/ The US President Joe Biden has affirmed that the United States is actively engaged in negotiating a minimum six-week ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Following a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House on Monday, Biden spoke to reporters, underscoring the collaborative efforts of the US and other stakeholders in pursuing a cessation of hostilities in Gaza and working towards the release of hostages held by Hamas.
Biden conveyed that the US is committed to brokering a deal that will establish an "immediate and sustained period of calm in Gaza, lasting at least six weeks." While acknowledging remaining gaps in the negotiations, he emphasized his ongoing encouragement of Israeli leaders to persist in their efforts to reach an agreement. Additionally, he reassured that the United States is dedicated to utilizing all available resources to facilitate the ceasefire.
The President also addressed Israel's potential ground offensive in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, emphasizing the imperative of a "credible plan" to ensure the "safety" of the "more than 1 million people sheltering there" before any major operation proceeds.
In response, King Abdullah emphasized the urgent need for a ceasefire "now," cautioning that an Israeli attack on Rafah would inevitably result in another humanitarian crisis. He reiterated the necessity for an end to the ongoing conflict and stressed the importance of a lasting ceasefire.
This meeting comes as Israel ramps up its offensive in Rafah, a crowded city in southern Gaza near Egypt's border. Israel says Rafah is Hamas's last remaining stronghold, but more than one million displaced Palestinians are estimated to have taken refuge there after fleeing fighting elsewhere in Gaza.
Over the weekend, Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling him that Israel "should not proceed" with an invasion of Rafah unless it had a "credible" plan for ensuring the safety of the people sheltering there.