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Biden lauds cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and urges further progress

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Joe Biden
President Joe Biden. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In a roughly four-minute statement, President Joe Biden lauded the cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israel on Thursday.

Biden said he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu six times in the past 11 days, and he added that he spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Thursday as well as the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Biden added that his administration would coordinate with the Palestinian Authority to send aid to the Gaza Strip for its reconstruction following Israeli airstrikes.

The militant group Hamas controls Gaza but is designated a terrorist group by the US.

"I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy," Biden said, adding that he believed there was "a genuine opportunity to make progress."

Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday after Israel's security cabinet voted to approve the truce, and Hamas officials told Reuters the cease-fire would be "mutual and simultaneous." The cease-fire was scheduled to take effect at 2 a.m. local time on Friday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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