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Biden seeking to return hostages in Gaza through contacts with Egypt, Qatar, Israel

US President Joe Biden expressed his desire to use his close contacts in Egypt, Qatar, and Israel to return all hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip to their homeland and their families.

The US President pledged, in a statement published on the White House website on Sunday on the 100th day of the war in Gaza, to bring all American hostages back home.

He assured that returning the six American hostages held by Hamas has been at the forefront of his concerns since the outbreak of the war on October 7.

Biden added that he has worked non-stop to try to secure the freedom of detainees, by working in close coordination with Qatar, Egypt and Israel to stop the fighting for seven days, which led to the release of 105 hostages, and allowed for an increase in vital humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The US President stressed that he was deeply involved “in securing, sustaining and expanding this agreement, and I look forward to maintaining close contact with my counterparts in Egypt, Qatar and Israel to repatriate all hostages and return them to their families.”


Australia seeking ‘permanent’ ceasefire

Meanwhile, Australia called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, as the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory warned that the lack of drinking water in Gaza Strip has become a matter of life or death.

Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, said that she will use her visits to Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, and UAE, to call for finding a way out of the current conflict and achieving lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution proposal.

Wong’s statements came as she left for a tour in the Middle East that includes the occupied West Bank and meetings with families of Israeli hostages.

She added that Australia will also use its influence and relationships to push for more humanitarian aid, provide greater protection for civilians and calm regional tensions.

Wong explained: “Our position is that we want to see a sustainable ceasefire, and to see an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, supported internationally as a step towards that.

She stressed that a unilateral ceasefire cannot be achieved and that the ceasefire cannot be unconditional.

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