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Gaza war: ‘There would be ceasefire tomorrow if…’, US President Joe Biden’s message for Hamas

US President Joe Biden said that a ceasefire is possible “tomorrow” in Gaza if Hamas released the hostages in its captivity.

“Before I begin, let me answer a question related to the hostages…You know, there would be a ceasefire tomorrow if…Hamas released the hostages, women, the elderly, and the wounded,” Biden said while speaking at a fundraiser event in Seattle on Saturday.

“Israel said it’s up to Hamas if they wanted to do it, we could end it tomorrow. And the ceasefire would begin tomorrow,” he added.

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The president raised the issue after warning Israel on Wednesday that he would stop supplying artillery shells and other weapons if its forces attacked the city of Rafah, Gaza, as he deplored the fact that civilians had been killed by the dropping of US bombs.

Hamas, the Palestinian militant group on Friday said efforts to find a Gaza Strip truce deal were back at square one after Israel effectively spurned a plan from international mediators.

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Ceasefire talks in Cairo broke up on Thursday with no agreement.

“Israel’s rejection of the mediators’ proposal through the amendments it made returned things to the first square,” Hamas said.

Notably, Israel has repeatedly refused to agree to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza until Hamas gets defeated, even if all hostages are released, CNN reported.

Hamas and Israel have so far failed to reach a ceasefire deal despite repeated rounds of indirect negotiations.

Some 250 people were abducted to the Gaza Strip on October 7 when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel.

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Israeli officials say 128 of them are still held captive in the Palestinian territory, including at least 36 who are dead.

The Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians. However, in Israel’s retaliatory military campaign in Gaza, at least 34,971 people have been killed so far, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health minister.

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Published: 12 May 2024, 07:47 AM IST