Blinken, Abbas discuss Gaza cease-fire via phone

WASHINGTON (AA) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas on Friday.

“I spoke with Palestinian Authority President Abbas today and discussed measures to ensure that the ceasefire holds. I also conveyed the U.S. commitment to work with the Palestinian Authority and the UN to provide rapid humanitarian assistance,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.

The cease-fire, brokered by Egypt, went into effect at 2 a.m. local time on Friday (2300 GMT Thursday). It came after 11 days of Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Earlier in the day, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration “strong assurances” the cease-fire brokered to halt Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip, and rocket fire from the enclave, will hold.

Psaki did not specify who the guarantees came from other than to note they were given by “relevant parties,” but said Biden had been engaged diplomatically with the Israeli and Egyptian governments to secure the truce before it went into effect early Friday.

A total of 248 Palestinians, including 39 women and 66 children, have been killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza since May 10.

In Israel, 12 people were killed by rocket fire from Gaza.

Source: Anadolu Agency