VP Harris, Not Biden, Called Jordanian King Abdullah II

On Thursday, Vice President Harris had a solo call with Jordanian King Abdullah II. They talked about America’s assistance in a cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas. 

After the call with the Kind Abdullah II, Harris wrote on Twitter stating that she talked with the King to reaffirm the support of the United States. She added that she also expressed her commitment to continued close cooperation. 

Moreover, Harris also said that she advised him on the intensive diplomatic efforts of the United States to promote the path to a ceasefire in Gaza. The Vice President added that the United States and Jordan would keep working to decrease tensions in Israel and Gaza. 

Where is President Biden?

Biden did not speak with Kind Abdullah. However, in his defense, Biden stated that he called Egypt’s President instead, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. In the call, Biden pledged support for the ceasefire.

In recent days, Biden also had a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu six times. He also called Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas more than once as he urges them to end the violence. 

Then on Thursday, at the White House, Biden made a statement. He said that Netanyahu informed him that Israel had already agreed to a “mutual unconditional ceasefire.” He added that the Egyptians have also informed the Biden administration that Hamas has also agreed. 

The 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza claimed the lives of at least 230 Palestinians. Included among them were 65 children and 39 women. Israel also had 12 casualties, including a 16-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. 

Egypt arranged the cease-fire after the U.S. urged Israel to slow down with their offensive attacks. 

Late Thursday, Netanyahu declared that he had accepted the proposal. However, he emphasized that the truth on the territory will still determine the future of the campaign. 

According to the State Department, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is planning to visit the region in the following days to talk about recovery efforts. 

The explosion of violence started a month ago in Jerusalem. According to reports, during Ramadan, Israeli police threatened the eviction of dozens of Palestinian families and Jewish settlers. This sparked protests and clashes with the police. 

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, built on top of a hill honored by Jews and Muslims, was fired with stun grenades and tear gas as protesters threw chairs and stones at them. 

Then, on May 10, Hamas, who declared to be defending Jerusalem, propelled many rockets at the city, setting off days of violence.

Netanyahu Previously Rejected Calls from Biden

The Israeli Prime Miniter previously rejected calls from Biden for significant de-escalation. However, on Wednesday, the cease-fire was finally agreed upon, which took effect in the early morning of Friday. 

Biden celebrated the cease-fire stating that he believes they have a real chance to make progress. He added that he is committed to working for it. 

The President also stated that the United States is committed to helping Israel renewing its supply of interceptor missiles for its Iron Dome rocket defense system. They are also working with the internationally recognized Palestinian authority to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.