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5 Arab countries back mediation efforts to stop Gaza war

June 3, 2024 at 8:32 pm

Smoke rises over a destroyed building following the Israeli attacks on Al Bureij Camp in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on June 3, 2024 [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, on Monday, voiced support for mediation efforts aimed at ending Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

The foreign ministers of the five Arab countries held a virtual meeting during which they discussed mediation efforts by Qatar, Egypt and the US to reach a deal “that leads to a permanent ceasefire, the release of hostages and detainees and sufficient delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip,” reads a joint statement issued following the meeting.

The ministers also reviewed a ceasefire proposal laid out by US President, Joe Biden.

They emphasised the importance of “seriously and positively engaging with the US President’s proposal to agree to a deal to end the conflict in Gaza, the statement said.

The top diplomats also underscored the necessity of launching a reconstruction process in Gaza “as part of a comprehensive plan to implement the two-state solution based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions, with specified timelines and binding guarantees.”

READ: Hamas is ‘prepared to cooperate with any ceasefire efforts’

On Friday, Biden said Israel presented a three-phase deal that would end hostilities in Gaza and secure the release of hostages held in the coastal enclave.

Hamas said it will “respond positively to any proposal that includes a permanent ceasefire, a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction efforts, the return of the displacement and the completion of a comprehensive hostage exchange deal”.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office reiterated, on Friday, that the government intends to continue its deadly offensive on Gaza until all of Tel Aviv’s war “goals” are met.

Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, mediated by the US, Qatar and Egypt, have so far failed to agree on a permanent ceasefire.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since a 7 October Hamas attack, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

More than 36,400 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 82,700 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: Netanyahu says he will not halt Gaza war, disputes Biden’s ceasefire proposal