Biden talks with leaders from Qatar, Egypt on Gaza truce

The White House confirmed Biden’s commitment to working with Egypt and Qatar to ensure the full implementation of the ceasefire proposal’s terms….reports Asian Lite News

US President Joe Biden engaged in separate phone conversations with the leaders of Qatar and Egypt, discussing a proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The discussions with Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi centred on a potential deal to secure the release of hostages along with an immediate and sustained cessation of hostilities in Gaza.

The White House confirmed Biden’s commitment to working with Egypt and Qatar to ensure the full implementation of the ceasefire proposal’s terms. These conversations followed Egypt’s announcement of a new truce proposal for Gaza during a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia.

Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, facilitated by Egypt and Qatar, aim to reach an agreement encompassing a prisoner exchange. Tel Aviv estimates that over 130 Israelis are held in Gaza, while Israel detains approximately 9,100 Palestinians.

During the phone calls, Biden urged Qatar and Egypt to intensify efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas, emphasizing that this remains the primary obstacle to an immediate ceasefire and relief for the people of Gaza. Additionally, the leaders discussed ongoing initiatives to increase humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza’s civilian population.

Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, which commenced following a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, has resulted in significant casualties and widespread destruction. The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis, with a large portion of Gaza’s population displaced and essential services severely disrupted.

The United Nations has reported extensive damage to Gaza’s infrastructure and critical shortages of food, water, and medical supplies. Amid allegations of genocide, the International Court of Justice issued an interim ruling directing Israel to cease genocidal acts and ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s civilians.

US opposes World court probe

The United States declared its opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza, amid concerns within Israeli circles about potential arrest warrants being issued by the Hague-based tribunal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly discussed this matter with US President Joe Biden during a recent call.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated the US stance, stating that they do not support the ICC investigation and question its jurisdiction. Reports suggested that Netanyahu himself might face charges, with the court also considering allegations against Hamas leaders.

Jean-Pierre declined to confirm whether Netanyahu had urged Biden to intervene to prevent the issuance of warrants during their call, emphasizing that the focus was on securing a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for Gaza.

There were also reports that the US had reached out to the ICC, warning that arrest warrants could disrupt efforts to broker a ceasefire and hostage deal between Israel and Hamas. Israeli officials vehemently opposed any ICC action, asserting their country’s right to self-defense against terrorism.

ICC’s arrest warrants would probably be considered a humbling moral rebuke, particularly to Israel, as the nation has faced backlash over its military action in Gaza, including from US President Joe Biden, who described it “over the top.”

The arrest warrants could impact Israel’s policies as the country continues to conduct its counter-offensive against Hamas. The Israeli and foreign officials said they did not know about the stage of the process.

Any warrants would need approval from a panel of judges and would not necessarily lead to a trial or even the target’s immediate arrest. ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan has previously said that his team is carrying out investigation into incidents during the war, The New York Times reported.

Earlier on April 26, Netanyahu said that any intervention by the ICC “would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the soldiers and officials of all democracies fighting savage terrorism and wanton aggression,” The New York Times reported. Although he did not mention what prompted his statement.

ALSO READ: Blinken arrives in Saudi Arabia to discuss post-war Gaza

[soliloquy id="31272"]
[soliloquy id="31269"]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *