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US Clarifies Biden Ceasefire Timing Remarks as Israel Braces for Possible Ramadan Violence

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Against the backdrop of its ongoing war, Israel is bracing itself for the upcoming Muslim Ramadan holiday, when tensions and terror attacks frequently flare. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is hoping for a ceasefire in the next week, despite the doubts that prevail in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly surprised by President Joe Biden's comments that he hoped for a ceasefire agreement by Monday.

Netanyahu responded in a public video, saying, "Since the start of the war, I have been leading a diplomatic campaign to block pressure designed to end the war prematurely, and to secure strong support for Israel."

He also noted a recent poll that shows most Americans support Israel.

"Today, a Harvard CAPS -Harris poll was published, which shows that 82% of the American public supports Israel, meaning that four out of five U.S. citizens support Israel and not Hamas. This will help us continue the campaign until total victory." 

Hamas called talk of a ceasefire premature, but the administration continues to express hope for an extended pause in the fighting soon.

National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby noted, "That would allow for several weeks, hopefully up to six, where there would be no fighting so that we can get all the hostages out, increase the flow of humanitarian assistance, but just as critically, get the fighting stopped so that there's no more civilian casualties and there's no more damage to civilian infrastructure."

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warns Hamas, with the backing of Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah in Lebanon, wants to use the month of Ramadan beginning in early March to incite Muslims in biblical Judea and Samaria, (the West Bank) and throughout the region toward another October 7th-style attack on Israel.

"The central (plan) of Hamas, to take the event called Ramadan – with an emphasis on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem – and turn it into the second phase of their plan that began on the seventh of October: this is the central plan of Hamas. This is pumped up by Iran and Hezbollah," Gallant asserted.

The defense minister said it's important, therefore, to target the terrorists and at the same time try to calm the situation, including not restricting Muslim visits to the Temple Mount during Ramadan, as has been proposed by some in the Israeli government.

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In a visit to the northern border, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi cautioned Hezbollah that it would "pay a heavy price” for deciding to join the fighting on October 7th last year.

Israeli fighter jets struck a Hezbollah weapons story facility and military structures in southern Lebanon after about ten rocket launches from Hezbollah-controlled territory were fired into northern Israel Wednesday morning.

In Gaza, the IDF struck eight terror targets from which rockets were fired at the coastal city of Ashkelon Tuesday night. Israel also targeted a number of terrorists, raided compounds, and found weapons and military equipment in Khan Younis, the second-largest city in the Gaza Strip.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and