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Biden says reported firing on Gaza food line will complicate truce talks

February 29, 2024 at 7:22 pm

US President Joe Biden gives aspeech in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 2024. [Kyle Mazza – Anadolu Agency]

President Joe Biden said on Thursday the United States was checking reports of Israeli troops firing on people waiting for food aid in Gaza and that he believes the deadly incident will complicate talks on a ceasefire, Reuters reports.

“I know it will,” Biden told reporters when asked whether the incident would complicate negotiations.

Health authorities in Gaza said Israeli fire on people waiting for aid near Gaza City on Thursday had killed 104 Palestinians and wounded 280, with one hospital saying it had received 10 bodies and dozens of injured patients.

“We’re checking that out right now,” Biden said as he left the White House for a trip. “There’s two competing versions of what happened. I don’t have an answer yet.”

READ: National Security Minister hails Israel soldiers’ killing of over 100 civilians waiting for aid in Gaza

He also said a temporary ceasefire probably would not happen by Monday, as he had earlier predicted.

“I was on the telephone with the people in the region. Probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful,” Biden said.

Israel and Hamas as well as Qatari mediators all sounded notes of caution this week about progress towards a truce in Gaza, where health authorities say more than 30,000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks.

The war began when Hamas sent fighters into Israel on 7 October, killing around 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

READ: Keys to lost homes in Gaza become latest symbols of Palestinian displacement