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Biden states that Israel is prepared to pause military action during Ramadan

President Biden has made a public statement concerning the possibility of the state of Israel agreeing to a conditional ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, observed from March 10 to April 9 this year. 

“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.

This deal, depending on the release of certain hostages in Hamas’ custody, would pause the offensive attacks that have been occurring since an attack from Hamas on Oct. 7, resulting in the death of 1,200 people, and the abduction of 250 hostages from Israel. 

If successfully reached, hostages and prisoners from both powers would be released, and a tentative six week stop in the conflict would occur. During this time, negotiations from representatives of the U.S., Egypt and Qatar would continue in hopes of an eventual release of all hostages. 

Currently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has commented on a framework for a potential ground offensive into Rafah that has been presented by the army to the War Cabinet. This would occur after a highly-criticized move by Israel to attack Rafah in early February, as 1.4 million refugee Palestinians have sought safety in the area.

The possibility of a pause in the conflict comes after several failed attempts to achieve a ceasefire, as well as provide humanitarian aid for the Palestinians affected by Israel’s offensive into Gaza. Current actions by the Israeli military have also been the subject of scrutiny by international forces, accusing the state of violating international law and committing war crimes during their offensive. 

“They have to and they have made a commitment to me that they’re going to see to it that there’s an ability to evacuate significant portions of Rafah before they go and take out the remainder Hamas,” Biden said. “But it’s a process.”

As it stands currently, nearly 30,000 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli military action through weaponry attacks, resource control, and other actions taken to ensure control of the territory, with nearly 80% of the population displaced.

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