Israel is ready to pause its war in Gaza during Ramadan if a hostage deal is reached, Biden says

Joe Biden, U.S. President

© APA | Joe Biden, U.S. President

# 27 February 2024 11:28 (UTC +04:00)

Israel would be willing to pause its war on Hamas in Gaza during the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan if a deal is reached to release some of the hostages held by the militants, President Joe Biden said in comments released on Tuesday.

There was no immediate Israeli reaction to Biden’s comments on an emerging framework deal, brokered by the United States, Egypt and Qatar, under which Hamas would free some of the dozens of hostages it holds, in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a six-week halt in fighting. During the temporary pause, negotiations would continue over the release of the remaining hostages and additional Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

The start of Ramadan, which falls around March 10, is seen as an unofficial deadline for a cease-fire deal. The month is a time of heightened religious observance and dawn-to-dusk fasting for hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. Israeli-Palestinian tensions have flared in the past during the holy month.

Biden said on Monday that he hopes a cease-fire deal could take effect by next week.

“Ramadan’s coming up and there has been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out,” Biden said in an appearance on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

At the same time, Biden did not call for an end to the war.