Middle East

Biden says Gaza crisis is “front of mind” in statement marking start of Ramadan

From CNN's Sam Fossum

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is “front of mind” this Ramadan, US President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday marking the start of the Islamic holy month.

“As Muslims gather around the world over the coming days and weeks to break their fast, the suffering of the Palestinian people will be front of mind for many. It is front of mind for me,” Biden said in the statement.
“This year, it comes at a moment of immense pain. The war in Gaza has inflicted terrible suffering on the Palestinian people. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians, including thousands of children.”

In his statement, Biden pledged that the United States would “continue to lead international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza” and is “working non-stop to establish an immediate and sustained ceasefire for at least six weeks as part of a deal that releases hostages.”

Remember: A Hamas delegation left Cairo on March 7 following days of talks without an obvious breakthrough. Israel has warned that if hostages held in Gaza aren’t home by Ramadan they will launch a military offensive into Rafah, where more than a million displaced people are sheltering. However, the Biden administration is not anticipating that Israeli forces will imminently expand their military operations into the southern Gaza city, two US officials told CNN.

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