This year’s Ramadan falls at times of ‘immense pain,’ Biden says amid Gaza war

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Ramadan this year comes at a time of “immense pain” amid the ongoing Gaza war and the humanitarian impact it has left on thousands of civilians, US President Joe Biden said as he extended his wishes to Muslims at the beginning of the holy month.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

In a statement released on Sunday, Biden vowed that the US would continue to exert efforts to mitigate the impact of the war with Israel and reach a ceasefire.

“This year, [Ramadan] 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. Some are family members of American Muslims, who are deeply grieving their lost loved ones today,” Biden said.

He also said that those displaced by the war are in urgent need of food and shelter and that the suffering of Palestinians will be at the forefront for all Muslims during this month.

Gaza has faced relentless bombardment by Israel since Hamas launched a cross-border attack on October 7 that resulted in about 1,160 deaths, most of them civilians, according to official figures.

Hamas also seized about 250 hostages, 99 of whom Israel believes are still alive in Gaza.

Israel’s retaliatory operations in Hamas-controlled Gaza have killed more than 31,000 people, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry.

With limited access to food and water, the United Nations has repeatedly warned that famine is looming for Palestinians struggling to survive in the territory.

Mediators, including the US, have attempted to strike a deal for a ceasefire before Ramadan began on Monday. However, a breakthrough between Israel and Hamas appears to be slim.

“The United States will continue to lead international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza by land, air, and sea,” Biden said.

US airdropping aid to Gaza

The US has been airdropping aid into the Gaza Strip in coordination with different partners, including Jordan. Last week, Biden announced that the US military would build a temporary pier on Gaza’s coast to facilitate larger aid shipments by sea, despite a Pentagon warning that this would take about 60 days.

“And we’ll continue to work with Israel to expand deliveries by land, insisting that it facilitate more routes and open more crossings to get more aid to more people,” Biden said.

The recent announcements by the US president reflect the pressure the Biden administration is under at home and abroad amid a looming Israeli offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah and an upcoming US presidential election.

“While we get more life-saving aid to Gaza, the United States will continue working non-stop to establish an immediate and sustained ceasefire for at least six weeks as part of a deal that releases hostages,” Biden said. “And we will continue building toward a long-term future of stability, security, and peace. That includes a two-state solution to ensure Palestinians and Israelis share equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity. That is the only path toward an enduring peace.”

Rise of Islamophobia in US

Biden also acknowledged that the US has seen a resurgence of “hate and violence toward Muslim Americans,” describing such actions as “appalling.”

Islamophobia has absolutely no place in the United States, a country founded on freedom of worship and built on the contributions of immigrants, including Muslim immigrants,” he said.

The American society has been impacted by the Gaza war, where rights advocates have noted a rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Arab bias in the US since the start of the conflict.

“To Muslims across our country, please know that you are deeply valued members of our American family. To those who are grieving during this time of war, I hear you, I see you, and I pray you find solace in your faith, family, and community,” Biden said.

With agencies

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