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US President Joe Biden gives strong message to Benjamin Netanyahu, asks Israel to ensure immediate ceasefire
Joe Biden interacting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo Courtesy: Benjamin Netanyahu X page

US President Joe Biden gives strong message to Benjamin Netanyahu, asks Israel to ensure immediate ceasefire

| @indiablooms | 05 Apr 2024, 03:05 pm

Giving a strong response to Israel, US President Joe Biden on Thursday asked PM Benjamin Netanyahu that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilise and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians in Gaza.

"He urged the Prime Minister to empower his negotiators to conclude a deal without delay to bring the hostages home," the White House said in a statement.

"He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers," the statement said.

"He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps," the White House said reflecting the strong message given by Biden to Netanyahu.

The two leaders also discussed public Iranian threats against Israel and the Israeli people.

"President Biden made clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of those threats," the statement said.

Meanwhile, UN officials launched assessment visits to Gaza and its agencies resumed night-time aid deliveries on Thursday after a 48-hour pause following Israeli forces killing seven World Central Kitchen relief workers in a convoy delivering food in the enclave, where intense Israeli bombardment and ground operations continue.

“The situation in Gaza is disastrous,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Once again, WHO demands a ceasefire. Once again, we call for all hostages to be released, and for lasting peace.”

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Thursday that because of what happened to World Central Kitchen “we had to pause to regroup and reassess”, adding that a convoy will deployed tonight, “hopefully making it to the north”.

Top UN officials have been warning that famine looms in northern Gaza as Israel continues to block and delay aid entry, especially in the north.

Human Rights Council to vote on Israeli sanctions

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council is poised to vote on several draft resolutions related to the war in Gaza on the final day of its current session in Geneva.

Drafts include one calling for an arms embargo on Israel, tabled on the heels of an Israeli drone-fired missile attack on three vehicles in an aid convoy that killed all seven World Central Kitchen passengers early this week in Gaza.

The convoy was delivering emergency food aid sailed in from Cyprus to stave off the looming famine in northern Gaza.

By provisions of the draft resolution, the Council would call on all States “to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, the occupying Power, in order to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights”.

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