US President Joe Biden on Sunday (local time) welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza-based militants after three days of hostilities.
Biden said that over last 72 hours, the United States has worked with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, and others throughout the region to encourage a swift resolution to the conflict. “I thank Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and the senior Egyptian officials who played a central role in this diplomacy as well as Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar and his team for helping to bring these hostilities to an end,” Biden said in a White House statement.
These remarks by Biden come as airstrikes were carried out across the Gaza Strip under Israel’s operation Breaking Dawn against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
President Biden said that his support for Israel’s security is long-standing and unwavering–including its right to defend itself against attacks.
“Over these recent days, Israel has defended its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks launched by the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the United States is proud of our support for Israel’s Iron-Dome, which intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives. I commend Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government’s steady leadership throughout the crisis.”
He noted that the reports of civilian casualties in Gaza are a tragedy, whether by Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad positions or the dozens of Islamic Jihad rockets that reportedly fell inside Gaza.
“My Administration supports a timely and thorough investigation into all of these reports, and we also call on all parties to fully implement the ceasefire, and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza as the fighting subsides.”
Recalling his trip to Israel and the West Bank, Biden said, that during his visit he made clear that “Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy.”
“My Administration will remain engaged with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support that vision and to implement the initiatives launched during my visit to improve the quality of life for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” he concluded as saying.
Meanwhile, United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency closed-door meeting on Monday to discuss the latest escalation between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip, media reports said citing a statement by the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour.