Gaza: Israel may halt its offensive for Ramzan

US president Joe Biden believes a pause in fighting is likely over the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan as part of a new hostage release deal

Much of Gaza is now rubble, as pictured, with refugees living in makeshift, inadequate shelters (photo: DW)
Much of Gaza is now rubble, as pictured, with refugees living in makeshift, inadequate shelters (photo: DW)


US President Joe Biden has said a hostage release deal could see a pause in fighting over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A draft proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza was shared with the Palestinian militant group Hamas as part of the ongoing truce talks in Paris, according to the Reuters news agency.

The proposal includes a 40-day pause in Israel's military actions in Gaza and an exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli hostages.

For each Israeli hostage, 10 Palestinian prisoners will be released as per the draft proposal, a source privy to the ongoing dialogue told Reuters news agency on Tuesday, 27 February.

As part of the ceasefire agreement, the source said that hospitals and bakeries in Gaza will also be repaired and reconstructed, and 500 trucks carrying aid will be allowed to enter the besieged territory.

Israel could halt operations for Ramadan: Biden

US President Joe Biden said Israel appeared willing to pause its military operations in the Gaza Strip during Ramadan as part of a cease-fire deal that would see the release of some hostages held by Hamas.

Negotiations would then continue for the release of the remaining hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins on 10 March.

Biden made the comments in an interview with American broadcaster NBC.

"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," he said.

Negotiators from the US, Egypt and Qatar have been working on an agreement expected to call for a six-week stop to fighting in the Gaza Strip, for Hamas militants to release some of the dozens of hostages they hold, and for Israel to free some Palestinian prisoners.

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