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Hamas-Israel ceasefire agreement remains elusive - Bloomberg

Hamas-Israel ceasefire agreement remains elusive - Bloomberg The ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel remains elusive (photo: Getty Images)

President Joe Biden warned Israel against an invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza as cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas remained deadlocked, reports Bloomberg.

The US had been hoping for a breakthrough in the negotiations before Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, which began after sundown on Sunday. The deal as envisioned would see a six-week pause in fighting and the release of dozens of Israeli hostages in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

However, the negotiations remained at an impasse, however, with Israel accusing Hamas of stalling in a bid to inflame violence across the region during Islam’s holy month, and Hamas saying more Israeli hostages have died in captivity than earlier believed.

Israel has threatened to advance on Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas in Gaza, where over a million Palestinians are hiding. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel will not cease its campaign until the Iran-backed militant group and its leaders are destroyed.

In his MSNBC interview, Biden expressed hope for a ceasefire agreement and warned that Israel's incursion into Rafah would be a red line. Meanwhile, the US Central Command has begun supplying Gaza with the necessary materials for the construction of a temporary port for the delivery of humanitarian aid by sea.

According to sources, over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in areas controlled by Hamas since October. The US and the EU have recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization. The last temporary ceasefire was reached in November, during which dozens of Israeli hostages were released from Gaza in exchange for prisoners held in Israeli jails.

"We cannot have another 30,000 Palestinians dead," Biden said, adding, "Netanyahu must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken. He is hurting Israel more than helping Israel".

Netanyahu stated that the majority of Israelis support his policies.

Biden confirmed that the US will never cease supplying weapons to Israel and supported the country's right to defend itself against Hamas.

According to Israel's intelligence agency Mossad, Hamas is currently holding its position and is not interested in a deal. It is estimated that the group is holding approximately 130 Israeli hostages.

Hamas's official spokesperson, Husam Badran, stated in an interview with Bloomberg that dozens of people have been killed as a result of Israeli fire.

Situation in Gaza

The Hamas militants attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a ground operation in the Gaza Strip at the end of October. This operation continues to this day. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the goal is the destruction of Hamas and the release of hostages.

President of the US Joe Biden announced his readiness to visit Israel and address the Knesset. He reiterated the call for a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip to release hostages and deliver humanitarian aid.

In his statement on February 8, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the nearing of complete victory and the readiness of the IDF to begin a ground operation in the city of Rafah, located near the border with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip.

Additionally, on March 8, Biden announced the construction of a temporary port by the US military to receive humanitarian aid for the residents of Gaza by sea. The facility will accommodate large vessels carrying food, water, medicines, and temporary shelters.

Official sources have stated that Washington will collaborate with European and regional partners and allies to create an international coalition of countries that will provide capabilities and funding.

The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the EU intends to open a maritime corridor for humanitarian aid from Cyprus to Gaza.