Biden announces potential Gaza ceasefire during Ramadan

Biden suggests Israel is open to a Gaza ceasefire during Ramadan, but Hamas cautions that key issues remain unresolved.

In a recent development, United States President Joe Biden has suggested that Israel is prepared to halt its attacks on Gaza for the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with a potential ceasefire agreement on the horizon. However, Hamas officials have cautioned that significant gaps in negotiations remain unresolved.

Biden’s remarks, recorded on Monday and aired early Tuesday, come amidst ongoing efforts to broker an extended ceasefire in a conflict that has ravaged the Gaza Strip since October last year. The U.S. president highlighted the importance of Ramadan, stating that Israel has committed to refraining from military activities during this period to facilitate hostage release efforts.


While expressing hope for a ceasefire agreement by Monday, March 4, Biden acknowledged that negotiations are still underway. He emphasised the significance of reaching a resolution before the commencement of Ramadan, expected to start on March 10.

Hamas is currently reviewing a proposal formulated during discussions in Paris last week involving representatives from Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar. However, senior Hamas officials have indicated that Biden’s remarks may have prematurely suggested an agreement, stressing the existence of substantial unresolved issues.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the draft proposal under consideration involves a 40-day ceasefire period. During this time, Hamas would release approximately 40 hostages, including vulnerable individuals such as women, minors, and the elderly, in exchange for the release of around 400 Palestinian detainees. Additionally, Israel would redeploy its troops away from civilian areas in Gaza, allowing displaced residents to return home, while humanitarian aid efforts would be intensified.

Despite these developments, Hamas’s core demands, including a permanent cessation of hostilities and a full Israeli withdrawal, have yet to be addressed in the proposed agreement. Moreover, the release of Israeli hostages and the liberation of a larger number of Palestinian detainees remain unresolved issues.

Delegations from both Hamas and Israel are currently in Qatar, engaging in discussions to finalise the terms of the ceasefire agreement. Biden, meanwhile, has underscored the significance of a temporary ceasefire as a precursor to advancing towards a permanent resolution, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s firm stance against Hamas’s demands for a complete Israeli withdrawal.

The prospect of a potential ceasefire has evoked mixed reactions in Gaza, with some expressing a desire for a permanent end to the conflict, while others cautiously welcome the possibility of a temporary reprieve amidst dire humanitarian conditions.

Biden’s announcement of a potential Gaza ceasefire during Ramadan signals a significant development in ongoing efforts to de-escalate the conflict. However, the path towards a lasting peace agreement remains fraught with challenges, highlighting the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.