Israel Palestine Conflict

Palestinian Authority hopes for Gaza ceasefire by Ramadan

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The Palestinian Authority hopes a ceasefire can be agreed in the Gaza war in time for Ramadan, its foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, said on Saturday.

Israel and Hamas have been negotiating through mediators over a possible ceasefire in Gaza, with the aim of halting fighting in time for Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, due to begin this year on March 10.

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“We hope that we will be able to achieve a ceasefire before Ramadan, we hope to be able to achieve one today, yesterday, but we have failed,” he said at a news conference at a diplomatic forum in Antalya, Turkey.

Egyptian security sources said on Saturday that ceasefire negotiations were due to resume in Cairo on Sunday.

Hamas, which precipitated the war in Gaza by attacking Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and capturing 253 hostages according to Israeli tallies, has said it will not free all its captives without a comprehensive deal to end the war.

Israel, which has assaulted the Gaza Strip, killing more than 30,000 people according to Palestinian health authorities, has said it will agree only to temporary pauses in fighting to release hostages, and will not end the war until Hamas is eradicated.

Al-Maliki called on the international community to make more efforts for a ceasefire.

When asked about the PA’s role for the governance of Gaza after the war, al-Maliki said: “The only legitimate authority that will operate and continue to operate Gaza is the Palestinian Administration. This is how we see the situation in post-war Gaza.”

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The PA, which exercises limited self-rule in parts of the Israeli occupied West Bank, lost control of Gaza to the Hamas militant group in 2007.

Al-Maliki also said the PA President Mahmoud Abbas will pay a visit to Ankara on Tuesday and meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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