Biden underscored that “the US fully supports Israel’s right to protect itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas and other Gaza terror groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel.”
“Hour by hour” intensive conversations were held with Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians and other Middle Eastern countries, Biden said as he described the diplomatic activity that led to the ceasefire.
Biden said that aside from Netanyahu he had spoken with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
He lauded Sisi and the Egyptians for their critical role and lauded Netanyahu for accepting the mutual unconditional cease fire. Hamas has also told the Egyptians that they agreed to the cease fire, he said.
“I extend my since condolences to all the families, Israeli and Palestinians, who have lost loved ones,” Biden said, adding that he sent his wishes for a full recovery to the wounded.
After the ceasefire was announced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and told him of his intent to visit Israel next week.
The State Department said that Blinken would “meet with Israeli, Palestinian, and regional counterparts in the coming days to discuss recovery efforts and working together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed news of the ceasefire and thanked Egypt and Qatar for their efforts in brokering the truce.
“I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire,” Guterres said, adding that it was very important to stabilize it..
He appealed to the intentional community to support tithe reconstruction of Gaza and urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to embark on a peace process, something which has not happened since 2014.
“I think it will be very important to have a robust program of humanitarian aid and recovery for Gaza,” Guterres said.
“And I think it will be very important to revitalize the peace process, to restart the peace process in order to have a two-State solution,” he added.
“The United Nations’ deep commitment to working with Israelis and Palestinians, and with our international and regional partners, including through the Middle East Quartet,” Guterres said.