According to US President Joe Biden, the US is working on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip that will last “at least six weeks”. Biden will meet Jordanian King Philip II in Washington on Monday. In his meeting with Abdullah, he said his government was working on “a hostage agreement between Israel and Hamas that would bring an immediate and permanent period of calm to the Gaza Strip.” Israel will end the military operation in the south of the Gaza Strip.
Biden said civilians in Rafah on the Egyptian border must be protected. Israel is currently considering a large-scale attack with ground troops on Rafah, where approximately one million civilians remain. Abdullah II called on Washington for a “permanent ceasefire” for the Gaza Strip. Regarding Israel’s ground offensive in Rafah, he said it would “certainly lead to another humanitarian disaster.”
Biden once again called for the protection of civilians with harsh words. In his statement after meeting with the king of Jordan at the White House, Biden said that a military operation in Rafah “should not be carried out without a credible plan to ensure the safety and support of the more than a million people seeking protection there.”
Many people there have been displaced several times from elsewhere, fleeing violence in the north. They are now “crammed together, unprotected and defenseless” in Rafah. “They need to be protected,” Biden demanded. The US government has also made clear from the beginning that it opposes the forced expulsion of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
King of Jordan II. Abdullah said immediate and urgent work is needed to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the Gaza Strip through all possible access points and existing mechanisms. He emphasized: “No other UN agency can do what UNRWA has done to help the people of Gaza in the face of this humanitarian disaster.” It is vital that the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine continues to receive the support it needs to fulfill its mission.
Beijing’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday that China is extremely concerned about the developments in the Rafah region and opposes any actions that would harm civilians. Israel must “cease its military operations as quickly as possible” and do everything possible to prevent a major humanitarian disaster.
Israel is currently preparing a military assault on the city on the Egyptian border in its war against Islamist Hamas. For this, the army needs to make plans to evacuate hundreds of thousands of civilians trying to protect themselves in a very small area. The planned project in the overcrowded city faced strong international criticism.
The military attack on Rafah, located in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip and on the Egyptian border, is considered problematic. According to UN figures, 1.3 million people currently live in the city, which had a population of 300 thousand before the war. Many fled there from other parts of the Gaza Strip before the war, partly at the behest of the Israeli army.