Biden advocates for six-week Gaza pause, discusses with Jordan’s King

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden, on Monday, Feb. 24, stated that the United States is advocating for a six-week pause in the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, aiming for a longer ceasefire.

Biden and Jordan’s King Abdullah addressed the media following discussions at the White House, tackling issues including a potential Israeli ground offensive in southern Gaza and concerns about a humanitarian crisis among Palestinians.

Biden expressed frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to U.S. advice, noting efforts with regional allies to negotiate a temporary cessation of hostilities. This pause would facilitate the release of hostages and increase humanitarian aid.

“The goal is a pause of at least six weeks, to build something more enduring,” Biden remarked.

King Abdullah, speaking after Biden, called for an immediate and lasting ceasefire: “We cannot stand by and let this continue. We need a lasting ceasefire now. This war must end.”

Biden, who spoke with Netanyahu on Sunday, emphasized to the Israeli leader the need for a credible plan to ensure the safety of over one million people in Rafah before any ground offensive.

Before his Western capitals tour, Abdullah participated in an airdrop of humanitarian aid to Gaza, underscoring Jordan’s role in advocating for Israel to ease restrictions in the enclave.

Biden’s administration is negotiating a ceasefire to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas since the group’s attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7. Palestinian health officials have estimated over 28,000 casualties in Gaza due to Israel’s military actions against Hamas.