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Israel Prepared to Halt War During Ramadan if Hostage Deal is Reached, According to Biden

Credits: ThePrint

U.S. President Joe Biden has suggested that a cease-fire in Gaza might be possible, indicating that Israel has agreed to halt its offensive during Ramadan if a deal is reached to release some hostages held by Hamas.

However, both Israel and Hamas have downplayed the likelihood of an imminent breakthrough. Since Hamas’ attack on southern Israel in October, Israel’s campaign in Gaza has resulted in significant casualties and destruction.

Talks to pause the fighting have gained momentum, with negotiators from the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar working to broker a cease-fire that would involve the release of hostages, a temporary halt in fighting, and increased aid deliveries to Gaza.

Joe Biden (Credits: The Indian Express)

The start of Ramadan, expected around March 10, is seen as a deadline for a deal. Biden mentioned that Israel has agreed not to engage in activities during Ramadan to allow time to release the hostages. However, he did not call for an end to the war.

Israeli officials expressed surprise at Biden’s comments and stated that Israel wants a deal immediately but that Hamas continues to make excessive demands. Hamas, on the other hand, indicated that it would not soften its demands.

The proposed deal includes the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a temporary pause in fighting, and increased aid deliveries to Gaza.

Despite optimism from some parties, including Qatar, Hamas has demanded an end to the war as part of any deal, which Israel has rejected as “delusional.”

Biden also left open the possibility of an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah, southern Gaza, where a significant portion of the population has fled under Israeli evacuation orders. Netanyahu has indicated that a ground operation in Rafah is part of Israel’s strategy.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza has resulted in significant casualties, with thousands killed, including women and children. The first cease-fire in the war, in late November, led to the release of some hostages and a temporary halt in fighting, but roughly 130 hostages remain in Gaza.

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