Biden says Gaza ceasefire possible ‘tomorrow’ if Hamas frees hostages – The Times of India

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NEW DELHI: US President Joe Biden has expressed optimism about the possibility of a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, suggesting it could occur as early as “tomorrow” if the militant group releases its hostages. Speaking at a fundraiser outside Seattle, hosted at the residence of a former Microsoft executive, Biden addressed the issue after avoiding the topic at three similar events the previous day.
“If Hamas would release the hostages, there would be a ceasefire tomorrow,” Biden emphasized to the audience of about 100 people.He further underscored Israel’s position, saying, “Israel said it’s up to Hamas, if they wanted to do it, we could end it tomorrow. And the ceasefire would begin tomorrow.”
The president’s remarks follow a warning issued to Israel earlier in the week, in which he threatened to halt the supply of weaponry if Israeli forces were to attack the city of Rafah in southern Gaza. Biden expressed concern over civilian casualties resulting from the use of US-supplied munitions.
“We’re not gonna supply the weapons and the artillery shells that have been used,” Biden reiterated in a televised interview with CNN.
Despite repeated rounds of indirect negotiations, Hamas and Israel have yet to reach a ceasefire agreement. The conflict intensified following an attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel, resulting in the abduction of approximately 250 individuals to the Gaza Strip on October 7. Israeli officials report that 128 hostages remain in Palestinian territory, with at least 36 confirmed deceased.
The violence has taken a heavy toll, with an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures estimating over 1,170 deaths, primarily civilians, resulting from the Hamas attack. In response, Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has led to the deaths of at least 34,971 people, predominantly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.
(With inputs from agencies)

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