CIA director in Cairo for talks on ceasefire in Gaza war

AFP , Tuesday 13 Feb 2024

CIA Director William Burns was due in Cairo on Tuesday for a new round of talks on a Qatari-brokered ceasefire proposal that would temporarily halt fighting in exchange for Hamas freeing captives.

William Burns
File Photo: Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. AP


Israel faced growing international pressure on Tuesday to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza, as it prepared for an incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah where more than a million Palestinians are trapped

Burns planned visit comes after Washington and the United Nations warned Israel against carrying out a ground offensive into Rafah without a plan to protect civilians who have nowhere left to go.

"Wherever we go there's bombing, martyrs and wounded," said Iman Dergham, a displaced Palestinian woman.

After White House talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday, US President Joe Biden said civilians in Rafah "need to be protected."

"Many people there have been displaced - displaced multiple times, fleeing the violence to the north, and now they're packed into Rafah - exposed and vulnerable," he said.

King Abdullah pushed for a full ceasefire to end the four-month-old war.

"We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah. It is certain to produce another humanitarian catastrophe," he said. "We need a lasting ceasefire now.


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