President Joe Biden addressed the major international issues of the nuclear capabilities of North Korea and the Israeli-Hamas conflict at a joint news conference last Friday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
While no development took place between the opposing groups to disrupt the ceasefire of the Israeli-Hamas conflict, there are continuing efforts to create an environment of lasting peace.
President Biden in a news conference said that “There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. We still need a two-state solution in the region. That will be the only solution to the conflicts. I do not talk about my private meetings and negotiations—however, the last time the ceasefire was reached in 56 days. Now, I am praying this ceasefire will hold. I took Netanyahu at his word; he has never broken his word to me.”
Secretary Blinken’s Critical Visit to Israel this week
The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit the area on Wednesday and Thursday to meet Israeli and Palestinian officials. Blinken is expected to visit Jordan as well as Egypt, which acts as a mediator between the parties. It was stated that Blinken would not visit Gaza but would meet Abbas in West Bank.
WHO’s Statement on Casualties of Israeli-Hamas fighting
World Health Organization (WHO) stated that more than 275 people were killed as a result of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, the majority of them being Palestinian. The number of injured is estimated to be more than 8,000. According to WHO, 17 health centers in the region were damaged. There is a severe shortage of medication and medical supplies in the area.
UN urges greater aid access for Gaza
United Nations noted that 72,000 people were evicted from their houses in Gaza and that $18.6 million were allocated for humanitarian emergencies in the city.
Some residents of Sderot, a city in the south of Israel targeted by Hamas, found the Israeli government’s ceasefire decision hasty, while others supported it.
Elections and Prime Minister Netanyahu
The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced that they were taking steps to form a government. Taking advantage of the conflict and tension in the region, Netanyahu managed to dilute the effects of the anti-change block led by Yair Lapid. According to Asharq Al-Awsat, Netanyahu concentrated all his efforts to find 61 MPs after Lapid reinstated the government while waiting for the last ten days of Lapid’s term to expire. Israel will have to go through the election process for the fifth time if Netanyahu fails to find 61 MPs.