Leaders around the world reacted to the announcement of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas on Thursday. The truce began early on Friday morning at 2 a.m. local time (2300 GMT Thursday).
President Joe Biden hailed the cease-fire as a chance for further progress during a White House address. He also thanked Egyptian leaders who mediated the truce.
Israel and Hamas have been fighting for 11 days after tensions escalated in Jerusalem over evictions of Palestinian families and the dispersal of worshippers at the city’s al-Aqsa mosque.
At least 232 Palestinians have been killed during the conflict, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Twelve people in Israel were killed.
US, Egypt, UK praise cease-fire efforts
Biden pledged to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system and said his administration would work with the Palestinian Authority to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.
“I believe the Israelis and Palestinians equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” Biden said in the remarks.
“I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I’m committed to working for it,” Biden declared.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to the Middle East and meet with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts in the coming days, the State Department announced following the speech.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi thanked Biden for his role in the cease-fire efforts on Twitter after the White House remarks.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also praised the truce.
“All sides must work to make the cease-fire durable and end the unacceptable cycle of violence and loss of civilian life,” Raab tweeted. “UK continues to support efforts to bring about peace.”
What did the UN say about the truce?
Top UN officials expressed their views on the cease-fire.
“I welcome the cease-fire between Gaza and Israel, after 11 deadly days of hostilities,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. He expressed his condolences to those who had been killed in the violence, and their loved ones.
At the same time, Guterres called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to discuss the “root causes” of the conflict.
“I stress that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict,” he added. “Gaza is an integral part of any future Palestinian state and no effort should be spared to bring about national reconciliation to end the division.”
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Tor Wennesland, was also optimistic.
“The work of building Palestine can start,” Wennesland tweeted. He commended Egypt and Qatar for their efforts in negotiating the cease-fire.
How did other countries react to the cease-fire?
Leaders from other countries chimed in on the cease-fire.
“This is the power of unified, collective action; this is the effort of every person and nation, together for a just cause,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said. “May this cease-fire be the first step towards peace in Palestine.”
“The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is good news,” Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Ann Linde said. “Now full humanitarian access to Gaza is needed. Then the hard way to resume peace talks must begin.”