Biden says Israel is ready to pause Gaza fighting; Hamas says deal not done yet

Israel is ready to halt its Gaza attacks for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in a ceasefire that could be signed as soon as next week, Joe Biden said, though Hamas officials said the U.S. president’s remarks were premature as it studies a truce offer.

Biden’s comments, recorded on Monday and broadcast after midnight on Tuesday, come as negotiators try to hammer out the first extended truce deal in a war that has obliterated the Gaza Strip since October last year.

“Ramadan is coming up, and there’s been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan, as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out,” Biden said on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers”.

Earlier on Monday, Biden said he hoped a ceasefire agreement would be hammered out by Monday, March 4. Ramadan is expected to begin on March 10.

Read more: Reuters