Cease-fire by Ramadan ‘looking tough,’ Biden says | EUROtoday

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President Biden mentioned Friday that reaching a deal for a cease-fire in Gaza by Ramadan is “looking tough,” a shift from his earlier optimism on negotiations within the lead-up to the Muslim holy month.

Israel and Hamas try to succeed in a deal by means of mediators that may pause combating and permit for the discharge of hostages held by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. During a pause in combating final 12 months, Hamas exchanged greater than 100 hostages for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Biden mentioned this week that if a pause isn’t reached by Ramadan — which begins Sunday or Monday, relying on the phases of the moon — “it could be very, very dangerous” and that “we’re trying hard for that cease-fire.” Asked Friday by reporters whether or not he was fearful about violence in East Jerusalem with out it, he mentioned, “I sure am.”

Jerusalem is the situation of the al-Aqsa Mosque, the place religious Muslims typically spend the late hours of Ramadan in prayer. Last 12 months throughout Ramadan, an Israeli raid on the mosque left greater than two dozens worshipers injured, prompting rocket hearth from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.

As cease-fire hopes dim and humanitarian teams warn that Gaza is getting ready to famine, Biden introduced Thursday that the U.S. navy would assemble a brief port and pier on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast to facilitate help supply.

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The Pentagon mentioned Friday that the floating pier will allow the supply of 2 million meals each day to Gaza, the place Palestinians are dealing with hunger amid a worsening humanitarian disaster. The European Union, United States and United Arab Emirates the identical day introduced plans for a brand new maritime hall to ship help to Gaza through Cyprus, as entry to the territory by land stays restricted. The route might be operational as early as Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned.

Five individuals had been killed Friday after an obvious parachute malfunction triggered a loaded crate to fall on individuals, in accordance with a civil protection spokesman in Gaza. Several nations have airdropped help to Gaza in latest weeks, together with the United States. U.S. Central Command mentioned Friday that it was “aware of reports of civilians killed as a result of humanitarian airdrops” and that the incident was not the results of U.S. airdrops.

Canada introduced Friday that it’ll resume funding to UNRWA, the U.N. company for Palestinians. It was one in all a number of nations, together with the United States, Britain and Australia, to pause funding within the wake of Israel’s allegations that some UNRWA employees had been concerned within the Oct. 7 Hamas assaults. Canada mentioned Friday that it “commends the independent review of UNRWA currently underway.”

U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk on Friday condemned Israeli plans to construct some 3,000 settlement houses within the West Bank, saying such a transfer flies “in the face of international law.” In a February report, Türk mentioned Israel’s institution and growth of settlements amounted to transferring its civilian inhabitants into territory it occupies, which “amounts to a war crime,” he wrote.

U.S. Central Command mentioned early Saturday that the Houthis carried out a “large-scale” drone assault into the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. American and coalition forces within the area shot down 15 one-way assault drones, Centcom mentioned. The Houthis have been focusing on ships within the waterway in protest of Israel’s navy marketing campaign in Gaza, upending international delivery routes.

At least 30,878 individuals have been killed and 72,402 injured in Gaza because the battle started, in accordance with the Gaza Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel estimates that about 1,200 individuals had been killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault and says 247 troopers have been killed because the begin of its navy operation in Gaza.