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Joe Biden & Benjamin Netanyahu Speak Over Rafah Invasion & Ceasefire

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The White House announced on Sunday that US President Joe Biden has talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once more as pressure mounts on Israel and Hamas to come to an agreement that would liberate some Israeli hostages and bring a cease-fire to the almost seven-month-long conflict in Gaza.

According to the White House, Biden restated his “clear position” as Israel prepares to storm Rafah, the southernmost city of Gaza, in spite of international outcry over the more than a million Palestinians who are seeking safety there. Relationships among the allies are strained as a result of the United States’ humanitarian objection to the invasion. On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make his way back to the Middle East.

In the statement, Biden emphasized the need for humanitarian relief to be sent to Gaza on a “sustained and enhanced” basis. It wasn’t as severe as their first call this month, during which Biden cautioned that the United States’ continued support for Israel in the conflict hinges on the prompt adoption of additional measures to safeguard civilians and humanitarian workers.

Meanwhile, a top representative from Qatar, a crucial middleman, called both Israel and Hamas to demonstrate “more commitment and more seriousness” in talks. Along with the United States and Egypt, Qatar played a crucial role in mediating a temporary cessation of hostilities in November that resulted in the rescue of numerous captives. Hamas’ headquarters are located in Doha. However, this month, Qatar announced that it was re-evaluating its participation in a show of displeasure.

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