US president discusses situation in Gaza with Egyptian, Qatari leaders

US president discusses situation in Gaza with Egyptian, Qatari leaders

Biden spoke to 2 leaders via telephone

By Ahmed Asmar

ANKARA (AA) - US President Joe Biden discussed developments in the Gaza Strip on Thursday with Egyptian and Qatari leaders, according to statements.

The Egyptian Presidency said Biden and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reviewed on the telephone joint efforts by Egypt, the US and Qatar to reach a cease-fire and a prisoner swap deal, along with efforts to deliver humanitarian aid into war-torn Gaza.

The Egyptian president stressed the need to reach an immediate and permanent cease-fire that would bring relief to Palestinians in Gaza, according to a statement.

He also said that reaching a cease-fire is a priority to restore stability in the region.

Meanwhile, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) said Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani discussed on the phone with Biden "the latest developments in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories."

The two leaders also discussed Qatar's efforts "aimed at reaching a deal on immediate and permanent cease-fire in Gaza."

Representatives from Qatar, Egypt, the US and Israel met last week in Paris to discuss proposals for a cease-fire that includes a prisoner swap deal, but so far no agreement has been reached.

Israel has launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas attack, which Tel Aviv said killed less than 1,200 people.

At least 30,035 Palestinians have since been killed and 70,457 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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