Escalation in Gaza affects ceasefire talks, Biden weighs in

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1st March 2024 – (Washington) In the thick of escalating tensions in Gaza, U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday expressed concern over reports of Israeli forces engaging with civilians queuing for food aid. Speaking to the media, President Biden acknowledged the gravity of the situation and its potential to hinder ceasefire negotiations in the region.

The president responded to queries regarding the incident which, according to Gaza health officials, resulted in the death of 104 Palestinians and left 280 injured near Gaza City. A local hospital reported receiving multiple casualties, including 10 fatalities.

President Biden, in his remarks as he departed the White House, stated they were in the process of verifying the details of the clash, indicating that there were conflicting narratives about the events on the ground. “We’re checking that out right now,” said Biden, emphasizing the need for clarity on the incident.

The prospects of a temporary ceasefire appear dim, with President Biden tempering expectations about an imminent resolution. Despite earlier predictions of a breakthrough by the upcoming Monday, Biden conceded, saying, “I was on the telephone with the people in the region. Probably not by Monday but I’m hopeful.”

The ceasefire discussions have seen a cautious approach from all sides involved, including Israel, Hamas, and Qatari mediators. The ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has seen extensive Israeli military action, has reportedly resulted in over 30,000 Palestinian fatalities according to local health authorities.

This latest cycle of violence erupted following a Hamas-led incursion into Israel on 7th October, with Israeli figures citing approximately 1,200 deaths and the capture of 253 hostages. The current events have thrown a spotlight on the complexities surrounding the path to peace in the region and the international community’s role in facilitating meaningful dialogue.