War in the Middle East: Fears about Gaza ceasefire before Ramadan

In the struggle for a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war, the mediating states want to use all their might to reach an agreement between Israel and the Islamist Hamas shortly before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

War in the Middle East: Fears about Gaza ceasefire before Ramadan

In the struggle for a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war, the mediating states want to use all their might to reach an agreement between Israel and the Islamist Hamas shortly before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The USA introduced an amended draft resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an “immediate ceasefire”. The draft resolution for the most powerful UN body states that there is a need for “a rapid and urgent agreement on an immediate ceasefire of around six weeks in Gaza and the release of all hostages.” The text was available to the dpa.

In the north of the sealed-off coastal strip, a convoy of trucks carrying food was turned away by Israeli soldiers and then looted by a desperate crowd, according to the United Nations World Food Program.

Aid workers: Israel rejects aid convoy

As the World Food Program (WFP) announced in Rome, the food convoy consisted of 14 trucks. He was turned away by Israeli forces after a three-hour wait at the Wadi Gaza checkpoint. The trucks were diverted and later looted by a large number of people. They said they took around 200 tons with them. Meanwhile, Jordan, the USA and other nations had coordinated the most extensive aid deliveries from the air to date. However, the United Nations is pushing to expand aid deliveries by truck. This is the only way to avert famine in Gaza.

Biden: Deal is in the hands of Hamas

“If we get into circumstances where this continues until Ramadan, then it could be very, very dangerous,” said Biden in the US state of Maryland. Ramadan begins around March 10th. “The hostage deal is in the hands of Hamas right now,” Biden added.

Israel and some negotiators believed that Hamas wanted to escalate the fighting to inflame tensions across the region during the holy month of fasting for Muslims, the Wall Street Journal wrote. For its part, Hamas points to Israel's threat to launch the planned ground offensive in Rafah on Gaza's southern border if no agreement is reached by Ramadan. Israel wants to destroy the last remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah. In the city that borders Egypt, around 1.5 million Palestinians are currently seeking protection from the fighting in other parts of Gaza.

Israel wants to give Muslims access to the Temple Mount

In order to prevent an escalation of tensions between Israelis and predominantly Muslim Palestinians, Israel's government wants to initially allow Muslims to pray on Jerusalem's Temple Mount during Ramadan. During Ramadan, they will be granted access to the shrines similar to previous years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

However, the security situation is reassessed weekly. Right-wing extremist coalition partners of Netanyahu had demanded massive restrictions on Muslims' access to the Temple Mount during Ramadan. The army and secret services, however, advised against it. Such restrictions could create an explosive situation, they argued. The Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif, is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

Lebanon: Indirect talks with Israel during Ramadan

According to Lebanese sources, indirect talks in the conflict between Israel and the Hezbollah militia in southern Lebanon will also begin during Ramadan. This was announced by the acting Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, according to the state news agency NNA.

Lebanese officials were considering a proposal from U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein, an adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden, who was in the Lebanese capital Beirut for talks the day before. It was about a diplomatic solution between the Hezbollah militia and Israel, it was said.

Since the beginning of the Gaza war following the massacre by Hezbollah-allied Hamas and other extremist groups in Israel on October 7 last year, there has been repeated shelling in the Israeli-Lebanese border region.

Gaza negotiations should continue

Meanwhile, mediators in the Gaza war want to continue their talks in Cairo about a ceasefire and the release of hostages, according to Egyptian security circles. According to dpa information, they are said to be in an advanced stage. They could bring a ceasefire and the exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners within days, it said.

Hamas says it wants to continue negotiations with the mediating states until an agreement on a ceasefire with Israel is reached. "The movement will continue negotiations with mediators to reach an agreement that meets the demands and interests of our people," Hamas said in a statement.

However, Israel has so far rejected a comprehensive ceasefire and continues to strive for the destruction of Hamas. From Israel's perspective, only a temporary ceasefire in Gaza is conceivable within the framework of an agreement.

Reports: Telecom services down again

Meanwhile, telecommunications services in the Gaza Strip are reportedly down again. The southern part of the sealed-off coastal area was particularly affected, said the organization NetBlocks, which is known for monitoring Internet blocks, on the X platform (formerly Twitter).

The Israeli news site "Ynet", citing reports from the Gaza Strip, also reported that internet connections were interrupted in large areas in Rafah in the south of the coastal strip and in the central part of Gaza. Since the beginning of the war, the communication networks in the sealed-off coastal area have failed several times.

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