War in the Middle East: Biden calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza war

While the mediators in the Gaza war continue to push for a ceasefire immediately before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, preparations are underway for aid deliveries to the bombed-out Gaza Strip by sea.

War in the Middle East: Biden calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza war

While the mediators in the Gaza war continue to push for a ceasefire immediately before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, preparations are underway for aid deliveries to the bombed-out Gaza Strip by sea. A ship from the Spanish aid organization Open Arms is scheduled to initially transport around 200 tons of food such as rice and flour from Cyprus at the start of a maritime corridor announced by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and will arrive in the next few days, as the British broadcaster BBC reported.

Where exactly it would land and how the aid would then get to the people was initially unclear. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden again called for a ceasefire. “I want to see a ceasefire, starting with a major prisoner exchange. For a period of six weeks,” Biden told US broadcaster MSNBC.

Biden: Don't allow another 30,000 deaths

Despite ongoing ceasefire negotiations, Israel is pressing ahead with preparations for a ground offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions and free suspected hostages there. In the city that borders Egypt, 1.5 million desperate Palestinians are currently seeking protection in a confined space from the fighting in other areas of the sealed-off coastal area.

It should not be allowed that another 30,000 Palestinians die as a result of the action against Hamas, Biden warned in the interview when asked whether a ground offensive in Rafah represented a red line for him. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, more than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza so far. According to media reports, tens of thousands of people called for an immediate ceasefire at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris and London.

Secret service: Hamas wants to set fire to region in Ramadan

However, according to the Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad, Hamas is currently not interested in a ceasefire. Rather, the Islamist organization is striving to "set the (Middle East) region on fire in Ramadan," said Mossad chief David Barnea in a statement that the Prime Minister's Office has now published.

At the same time, Israel remains in contact with the mediators USA, Qatar and Egypt and is cooperating with them, it said. “We have not declared that the negotiations have been stopped,” said Husam Badran, a member of the Islamist organization’s political bureau, to the US newspaper “Wall Street Journal”.

According to the newspaper, the talks will continue in Cairo today. The Arab negotiators planned to push for an initially shorter ceasefire of two days at the start of Ramadan. The month of fasting, a particularly holy time for Muslims, is expected to begin on Sunday evening.

USA prepares to build temporary port facility

Meanwhile, the US military has begun transporting equipment to the region for the construction of a temporary shipping dock off the coast of Gaza. The responsible regional command Centcom announced this on the X platform, formerly Twitter. On Thursday, the USA announced the plan planned with international partners to bring food, water and medicine to the war zone.

It will take around 60 days until the pier is operational. The Israeli army agreed to coordinate the construction together with the US armed forces. Humanitarian aid could then reach Gaza by sea after appropriate inspection by Israel, said military spokesman Daniel Hagari.

Independently of the preparation of the temporary port facility, the international community is working on establishing a maritime corridor from Cyprus. "We are now close to opening the corridor - hopefully this Saturday, this Sunday," said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a meeting with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulidis. Germany is participating in the maritime corridor.

Biden ubt Critical moment Netanyahu

US President Biden described the situation of the people of Gaza as “desperate”. He emphasized that Israel's defense was "still crucial." He will never leave Israel's side. At the same time, the US President clearly criticized the actions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “He’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel,” Biden said.

"I think this is a big mistake." Netanyahu has the right to defend Israel and continue to fight Hamas. "But he must, he must, he must pay greater attention to the innocent lives that will be lost as a consequence of the measures taken," the US president added. Recently, senior representatives of his government had increasingly toughened their tone towards Israel.

Thousands demonstrate against Netanyahu in Israel

Netanyahu is also under pressure at home. Thousands of people demonstrated in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities for the release of the hostages from Hamas and against Netanyahu's government. Near the headquarters of the Defense Ministry, police stopped protesters from blocking a city highway, Israeli media reported. The authorities arrested 16 people. In Caesarea, a large crowd gathered in front of Netanyahu's private villa. One of the speakers, a former general, said of the head of government: "Your policy is aimed at only one thing: staying in power at all costs, and the war serves your purposes perfectly."

Hamas sticks to its demands

Israel and Hamas have been negotiating a temporary ceasefire in indirect talks for several weeks. Hamas Politburo member Badran told the Wall Street Journal that they were ready for further talks. At the same time, however, he reaffirmed Hamas' conditions. This includes a permanent ceasefire, sufficient aid supplies across all border crossings, a plan to rebuild the Gaza Strip and a complete withdrawal of the Israeli military.

The mediators' proposal so far only called for a six-week ceasefire and a first phase of exchanging hostages for Palestinian prisoners. During this ceasefire, a permanent ceasefire and the terms of the release of all remaining hostages will be negotiated. Israel has so far shown no willingness to move away from this step-by-step plan.

The Gaza war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel's history, in which terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups murdered around 1,200 people and kidnapped 250 in Israel on October 7th.