Palestinians Seek Gaza Ceasefire Before Ramadan

The Palestinian Authority is hoping for a cease-fire agreement in Gaza by Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, its Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on March 2

by Sededin Dedovic
Palestinians Seek Gaza Ceasefire Before Ramadan
© Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority expressed hope to reach a cease-fire agreement in Gaza by the start of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on March 2. According to a Reuters report, Maliki made these views at a press conference held at a diplomatic forum in Antalya, Turkey.

Maliki stressed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be the "only legitimate authority" to govern Gaza after the conflict ends. The PA, which has limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank under Israeli occupation, lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007.

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States of America and the European Union. Negotiations are currently ongoing between Israel and Hamas through mediators on a possible cease-fire in Gaza, with the intention of stopping the fighting before the start of Ramadan, which this year begins on March 10.

Reuters reports that talks are scheduled to resume on Sunday, March 2, in Cairo, citing Egyptian security officials. According to Reuters sources, the parties reached an agreement on the duration of the cease-fire in Gaza, as well as on the release of hostages and prisoners.

However, an agreement is still needed on the withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Gaza and the return of the population to the area. Reports indicate that Thursday's incident, in which more than 100 Palestinians seeking help were killed in an Israeli attack on Gaza authorities, did not slow down the talks but accelerated them to preserve progress.

The war in Gaza has been going on since October 7, 2023, after Hamas launched an attack on Israel. During the conflict, according to Israeli officials, more than 1,200 people lost their lives, while another 100 people died of their injuries.

Hamas has taken more than 250 hostages to Gaza. According to the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, more than 30,320 people have died since the war began. Human rights NGOs accuse Israel of using disproportionate force in response to the attacks and during the conflict against Hamas.