Biden: Israel agrees to halt military activity over Ramadan, risks
losing world support
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[February 27, 2024]
By Jeff Mason
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said Israel has agreed not
to engage in military activities during Ramadan in the Gaza Strip, where
it is at war with Hamas militants, and said the Jewish state risked
losing support from the rest of the world as Palestinians die in high
Biden, who made his remarks during an appearance on NBC's "Late Night
with Seth Meyers," said Israel had committed to make it possible for
Palestinians to evacuate from Rafah in Gaza's south before intensifying
its campaign there to destroy Hamas.
Biden, whose remarks were recorded on Monday and broadcast on Tuesday,
said there was an agreement in principle for a ceasefire between the two
sides while hostages were released.
"Ramadan is coming up, and there’s 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.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan in 2024 is expected to begin on the
evening of March 10th, 2024, and end on the evening of April 9th, 2024.
CEASEFIRE SETS PATH TO TWO STATE SOLUTION
Biden said a temporary ceasefire would ease relationships with Israel's
neighbors and jumpstart a process for Palestinians to have their own
"That gives us time to begin to move in directions that a lot of Arab
countries are prepared to move in. For example, Saudi Arabia is ready to
recognize Israel. Jordan is. Egypt -- there are six other states. I’ve
been working with Qatar," Biden said.
"If we get ... that temporary ceasefire, we’re going to be able to move
in a direction where we can change the dynamic and not have a two-state
solution immediately but a process to get to a two-state solution, a
process to guarantee Israel’s security and the independence of the
Palestinians," he said.
[to top of second column]
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at the John F. Kennedy
International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S. February 26, 2024.
Biden said on Monday he hoped to have a ceasefire in the conflict by
the following Monday.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea of
a two state solution.
Biden, a Democrat who is running for re-election this year, has seen
support among young Americans and left-leaning progressive voters
sink as a result of his staunch support for Israel and sky high
death tolls among Palestinian civilians.
After Hamas killed 1,200 people and captured 253 hostages on Oct. 7,
Israel launched a ground assault on Gaza, with nearly 30,000 people
confirmed killed, according to Gaza health authorities.
Israel risked losing support from the rest of the world, said the
"There are too many innocent people that are being killed. And
Israel has slowed down the attacks in Rafah," Biden said.
"They have to -- and they’ve made a commitment to me 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 of
Hamas," he said.
"But it’s a process. And, look, Israel has had the overwhelming
support of the vast majority of nations. If it keeps this up ...
they’re going to lose support from around the world. And that is not
in Israel’s interest."
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Michael Perry)
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