Palestinian President Abbas welcomes Gaza deal, urges wider solutions to conflict

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed on Wednesday the foreign-mediated humanitarian deal between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip, and called for wider solutions to the long-running Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Abbas’ administration, based in the occupied West Bank, “appreciate(s) the Qatari-Egyptian (mediation) effort,” wants an extended truce with Israel and “the implementation of a political solution based on international legitimacy,” a social media post by senior Palestinian aide Hussein Al-Sheikh said.

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Earlier, Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day truce that would see the Palestinian group release dozens of hostages taken on October 7, both sides announced Wednesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved the accord after a near-all-night meeting, in which he told reticent ministers this was a “difficult decision but it’s a right decision.”

Hamas released a statement welcoming the “humanitarian truce”, which it said would also see 150 Palestinians released from Israeli jails.

The truce offers Gaza residents the prospect of a desperately desired, if brief, pause after nearly seven weeks of total war.

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