U.S. President Joe Biden has thanked Egypt for “its successful diplomacy” and coordination with the United States to ceasefire to end 11 days of Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip and the rocket against Israel.
In a statement Monday, the White House said Biden discussed efforts to rebuild after the deadly assault on besieged Palestinian territory in a phone call with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
“The two leaders consulted on the urgent need to provide humanitarian aid to those in need in Gaza and to support reconstruction efforts so that it benefits the people there and not Hamas.” statement to read.
Monday’s phone call came as Biden sent U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the region to meet with Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders this week, as well as visit Egypt and Jordan.
The Biden administration had generally clashed pressure, including from his own Democratic Party, to push Israel to agree to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, but the president of the United States and his senior officials he insisted that backstage diplomacy was a better approach.
Egypt helped reach the truce between Israel and Hamas that went into effect on Friday and the country sent delegations to Tel Aviv and the occupied Palestinian territories to monitor implementation of the agreement.
Last week, el-Sisi pledged $ 500 million to help rebuild efforts in Gaza.
About 250 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed in the 11-day Israeli bombing of Gaza, which also wounded about 2,000 more, and damaged and destroyed many buildings and critical infrastructure.
At least twelve people in Israel, including two children, were killed by rockets fired from the Strip by Palestinian armed groups.
Violence erupted after Israel’s plan to forcibly relocate Palestinian families from occupied East Jerusalem and its attacks on Palestinian worshipers on the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque sparked widespread protests in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and the interior of Israel.
Hamas, the Palestinian faction that governs Gaza, said it began firing rockets at Israel in response to the Israeli crackdown.
The U.S. State Department has said Blinken plans to focus during his trip on securing the Hamas-Israel ceasefire and providing the necessary assistance to the Palestinians.
Blinken “will discuss essential monitoring efforts to consolidate the ceasefire and reduce the risks of new conflicts over the coming months,” the department said in a statement Monday earlier.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, a West Jerusalem informant on Sunday, said “the most important question for Blinken’s visit is whether this changes the Biden administration’s calculations.”
Since taking office, Biden and his senior officials had tried to “prioritize” the Israel-Palestine issue amid other foreign policy priorities. “Will they change that now and re-focus on negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians and the US actively pursuing them?” Badies asked.
Meanwhile, some progressive U.S. lawmakers continue to call on Washington to cancel one planned a $ 735 million arms deal with the Israeli government, as well as recalibrating its relationship with Israel.
The Israeli bombing of Gaza came amid growing lawmakers in Washington to question it unconditionally. US military assistance in Israel, which amounts to $ 3.8 billion annually.
Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel, and human rights defenders have done so before. instat the Biden administration to pressure el-Sisi, who has presided over a broad scope repression on journalists, human rights defenders and perceived critics, to improve their government’s human rights record.