Gaza hostages release 'only a start', says US President Joe Biden
Biden said it was time to "renew" work on creating two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
US President Joe Biden on Friday spoke about the release of an initial group of hostages by Hamas and emphasized that this was just a "start". He expressed optimism about the "real" chances of extending a temporary truce in Gaza. Biden asserted that it was time to "renew" efforts toward creating a two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Expressing optimism over extending the truce Biden said, "I think the chances are real." Reflecting on the early stages of the implementation, he remarked, "This morning I've been engaged with my team as we began the first couple of days of implementing this deal. It's only a start, but so far it's gone well."
"From the moment Hamas kidnapped these people, I, along with my team, have worked around the clock to secure the release we saw...I've consistently pressed for a pause in the fighting for two reasons to accelerate and expand humanitarian assistance going into Gaza and to facilitate the lease of hostages,” the US President said.
“Over the past several weeks, I've spoken repeatedly with the Emir of Qatar, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, to help secure this deal and I want to thank all three leaders for their personal partnership to get this done,” he added.
On Friday, the Red Cross officially verified the secure release of 24 hostages from Gaza. This group comprised 13 Israelis, including some with dual citizenship, along with 10 Thai nationals and one individual from the Philippines, as reported by the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, the mediator in the deal. Notably, all the released individuals were either women or minors.
(With inputs from AFP)