Biden speaks to leaders of Israel, Egypt and Qatar in the aftermath of hostage deal

US President Joe Biden spoke with the leaders of Egypt, Israel and Qatar Wednesday, the White House said, his first publicly announced talks with them since a hostage deal was announced between Israel and Hamas.

Biden and his government negotiated through Qatar and Egypt to arrange the deal, in which Hamas will free at least 50 hostages and Israel will release scores of Palestinian prisoners, while offering a four-day truce to war-battered Gaza.

Biden spoke in separate calls with Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

All three conversations concerned “the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on October 7 and the latest developments in the region,” the White House said.

The current bout of fighting between Israel and Hamas, which governs the besieged Gaza Strip, erupted after Hamas fighters carried out the deadliest attack in Israel’s history, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking some 240 hostages.

Israel has responded with an overwhelming bombing and ground campaign, leaving much of Gaza in rubble and killing 14,100 people, including thousands of children.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that there will be no long-term ceasefire, saying his goal remains to destroy the militant group.

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