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Monday, July 15, 2024

Biden hopeful of ceasefire amid Gaza destruction

Israel has consented to cease its attacks on Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, announced U.S. President Joe Biden.

Israel has consented to cease its attacks on Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, announced U.S. President Joe Biden. He expressed optimism that a temporary ceasefire would take effect next week, coinciding with Hamas reviewing a potential truce deal that includes a swap of prisoners and hostages.

Biden’s statements, emerge amidst ongoing negotiations aimed at brokering a ceasefire in the conflict that has persisted since October of the previous year.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Biden highlighted Israel’s commitment to refrain from activities during Ramadan, allowing time for hostage negotiations. Last week, U.S. and Israeli officials engaged in discussions regarding a ceasefire proposal alongside Qatari and Egyptian mediators in Paris. Presently, delegations from both Hamas and Israel are in Qatar for proximity talks facilitated by mediators.

Biden, in his NBC interview, disclosed an agreement in principle for a ceasefire, contingent on the release of hostages, expressing hope for its realization by the ensuing Monday. He underscored the urgency, citing the loss of innocent lives and Israel’s adjustment of attacks in Rafah to facilitate Palestinian evacuations.

“man-made disaster”

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed Hamas’ previous ceasefire offer as “delusional,” emphasizing his rejection of a two-state solution. Despite this, a new proposal being considered by Hamas incorporates some of its initial ceasefire demands, including a prisoner exchange at a ratio of 10 to one, as revealed by a senior source close to the talks.

Mediators are intensifying efforts to secure a ceasefire, particularly in Rafah, where over a million displaced individuals seek shelter. The dire need for accelerated humanitarian aid is increasingly pressing, with warnings of impending famine.

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Samantha Power, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), stressed Gaza’s urgent need for aid, contrasting the insufficient aid deliveries with UN warnings of “catastrophic” outcomes. Hamas condemned the Biden administration for what the UN terms a “man-made disaster.”

Against the backdrop of escalating tensions, Hamas accused Israel of perpetrating crimes and violations, one month after the International Court of Justice’s ruling to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza. The conflict escalated following Hamas’ actions on October 7th, resulting in significant casualties and hostage situations, prompting Israel’s ground assault on Gaza.