ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Biden: Deal in works would see at least 6-week pause used ‘to build something more enduring’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House alongside Jordan's King Abdullah on February 12, 2024. (Screen capture/YouTube)
US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House alongside Jordan's King Abdullah on February 12, 2024. (Screen capture/YouTube)

US President Joe Biden and Jordan’s King Abdullah have wrapped up their meeting at the White House and are now giving prepared remarks.

Biden begins by reiterating that October 7 “was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”

He notes that 134 hostages still remain in Gaza and that their families “don’t know how many are still alive.”

He says the US shares Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas, whose terrorists hide in tunnels beneath civilian infrastructure, “including schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods.”

Biden also acknowledges that the Palestinian people “have also suffered unimaginable pain and loss.”

“Too many of the over 27,000 Palestinians killed in this conflict have been innocent civilians, including thousands of children,” Biden continues. “Hundreds of thousands have no access to food, water other basic services. Many families have lost not just one but many relatives and cannot mourn for them, Even bury them as it is not safe to do so. It’s heartbreaking.”

He says he is working “to find the means to bring all the hostages home, to ease the humanitarian crisis, to end the terror threat and to bring peace to Gaza and Israel through a two-state solution.”

Biden highlights the hostage deal framework he helped craft with Egyptian and Qatari mediators that would see a humanitarian pause of at least six weeks, “which we could then [use] to build something more enduring.”

He says he has encouraged Israeli leaders to “to keep working to achieve the deal,” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized Hamas’s demands response to the framework as “delusional.”

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