Biden: Ceasefire Possible If Hamas Frees Hostages

US President Joe Biden on Saturday announced a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas if the Palestinian movement releases hostages in the Gaza Strip.

During a fundraiser at the former Microsoft executive’s home outside Seattle, Biden avoided discussing the issue on three similar occasions Friday, saying “if Hamas releases the hostages, there will be a cease-fire tomorrow.”

He added to the crowd of about a hundred people: “If Israel wants to do it, the ceasefire will start tomorrow.”

The president raised the issue after he lamented the civilian deaths from US bombing and warned Israel on Wednesday that it would stop supplying artillery shells and other weapons if Israeli forces attack the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

In a televised interview with CNN, Biden said, “If they attack Rafah, I will not give them the weapons that are used to deal with the cities.”

Hamas and Israel have held several secret talks but failed to reach a ceasefire agreement.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on southern Israel, killing more than 1,170 people, most of them civilians, according to an Agence France-Presse account based on official Israeli data.

More than 250 people were captured, 128 of whom are still being held in Gaza, and 36 of them died, Israeli officials said.

In response to the attack, Israel vowed to “destroy” Hamas and launched a devastating bombing campaign and ground operations in the Gaza Strip, killing 34,971 martyrs, most of them civilians, according to the latest count. of the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.

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