President Biden hopes for an Israel-Hamas ceasefire early next week

2024-02-27 07:47:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

President Biden hopes for an Israel-Hamas ceasefire early next week

United States President Joe Biden said he hoped a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas, which would halt the fighting and allow the release of those still being held hostage, could come into force early next week.

Asked when he hopes such an agreement can be finalized, President Biden said: “I hope by the beginning of the weekend. At the end of the weekend. My national security adviser tells me they have approached him. They are near. They are not finished yet. My hope is that by next Monday we will have a ceasefire".

President Biden made the comments from New York after participating in an NBC show.

Negotiations continue for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, to allow the release of hostages held in Gaza by the militant group, in exchange for Israel's release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The proposal for a six-week pause in the fighting would also allow for the delivery of hundreds of trucks a day with essential aid to the people of Gaza.

Negotiators face an unofficial deadline - the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan around March 10, a period often associated with heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Israel has failed to comply with an order by the UN's top court to provide emergency aid to the desperate population of the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch said on Monday, a month after the ruling. landmark in The Hague that ordered Israel to reduce the intensity of military operations.

In a precautionary measure in response to South Africa's request accusing Israel of genocide, the UN's top court ordered Israel to do everything it can to prevent death, destruction and acts of genocide in the tiny Palestinian enclave. The court did not order a halt to the military offensive that has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel denies the accusations and says it is fighting in self-defense.

After nearly five months of fighting, Israel is already preparing to expand its ground operation in Rafah, the southernmost Gaza city along the border with Egypt, where some 1.4 million Palestinians have taken refuge.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Monday that the military has submitted to the cabinet the operational plan for the town of Rafah, as well as plans to evacuate civilians from the fighting areas. No further details were given.

The situation in Rafah has created global concern. Israel's allies have warned that Israel must protect civilians in the battle against the militant group Hamas./ VOA

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