Biden says releasing Gaza hostages is 'just the beginning'

Biden says releasing Gaza hostages is ‘just the beginning’

US President Joe Biden said Friday’s release of the first group of hostages by Hamas was just the “start” and said there was a “real” chance to extend the temporary ceasefire in Gaza.

Biden told reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was spending the Thanksgiving holiday with his family, that it was time to “renew” efforts to build a two-state solution to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He also said that he had come.

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 24 hostages – 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and one Filipino – were handed over by Hamas to the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip on Friday, while Israel handed over a woman held in a prison. It was announced that 39 minors had been released.

Biden, who led the US effort to secure a pause in the brutal fighting between Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza, said “I think there is a real possibility” of extending the ceasefire.

He welcomed how the process had progressed with a four-day ceasefire to facilitate the release of hostages and prisoners of war.

“This morning, I worked with my team to begin the first few days of implementation on this transaction. It’s early days, but things are going well so far.”

Asked about the American women and children hostages who could be released as part of the deal, Biden said he did not know when they would be released, but “I expect they will be released.” .

“We need to renew our resolve to pursue this two-state solution,” he said, urging broader efforts to move out of the crisis and create a viable Palestinian state coexisting with Israel. did.

Protesters across the United States have called on Mr. Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire, and demonstrations also disrupted the nation’s largest Thanksgiving parade in New York on Thursday.

On Friday, as the president attended a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony on Nantucket Island, about 10 demonstrators held banners that read “Liberate Palestine” and chanted, “Biden, Biden, we cannot hide this genocide. I’ll charge you with a crime,” he shouted.

Earlier in the day, as the president walked around, several people chanted “Free Palestine” and “ceasefire now.”

The October 7 Hamas attack sparked air and ground attacks by Israel, which has vowed to annihilate the Palestinian militants.

According to officials in Hamas-controlled areas, about 15,000 people have died in the war in Gaza, including 6,150 children.

According to Israeli officials, the October 7 attack killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in Israel and took about 240 hostages.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *