Israel to pause Gaza attacks for Ramadan: Biden reveals ceasefire efforts

President Biden has announced that Israel is willing to pause its military operations in Gaza for Ramadan, suggesting a ceasefire could be imminent, possibly within the next week. However, Hamas officials have labeled Biden's statement as premature, indicating they are still reviewing the truce offer.

Publication: 27.02.2024 - 13:28
Israel to pause Gaza attacks for Ramadan: Biden reveals ceasefire efforts
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Biden's remarks were made late Monday and aired after midnight Tuesday, amid ongoing negotiations aimed at securing the first significant ceasefire in the conflict that has devastated Gaza since October last year.

"Ramadan is approaching, and the Israelis have agreed to suspend operations during this period to facilitate the release of all hostages," Biden mentioned on NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

Earlier on Monday, Biden expressed optimism about finalizing a ceasefire by March 4, ahead of Ramadan, expected to start on March 10. "They're close. Not there yet, but I'm hopeful for a ceasefire by next Monday," Biden added.

A proposed ceasefire, discussed last week in Paris involving Israel, the U.S., and mediators from Egypt and Qatar, marks the most concerted effort for peace since the collapse of a previous truce in November.

Hamas is contemplating a 40-day ceasefire proposal, which would see the exchange of around 40 hostages for approximately 400 Palestinian detainees. The ceasefire would also include repositioning Israeli troops and allowing Gazan residents, excluding men of fighting age, to return home. However, the proposal falls short of Hamas's demands for a permanent war cessation and full Israeli withdrawal.

Biden has warned that Israel risks losing international support if it does not do more to avoid civilian casualties. Israel has reduced its operations in Rafah but threatens further action. Netanyahu has dismissed Hamas's demands as unrealistic, insisting on continuing the war until Hamas is defeated.

Biden sees a temporary ceasefire as a step towards establishing a Palestinian state, a notion Netanyahu opposes, prioritizing Israel's security needs.

The conflict, which escalated on October 7 with Hamas killing 1,200 people and capturing 253 hostages, has resulted in nearly 30,000 deaths, according to Gaza health authorities. In Gaza, there's a longing for a permanent ceasefire, with many willing to accept a temporary pause in hopes it leads to lasting peace.

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