Biden Fails to Keep Promise on Negotiating for Hostages

( – President Joe Biden’s timeline for a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas of March 4 has passed with no deal reached.

Biden pledged to have a cease-fire agreement by March 4 during a Feb. 26 stop at a New York City ice cream shop after he taped his interview for NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” He noted that Ramadan is expected to begin March 10, hoping that would mark the start of the cease-fire if the agreement was complete by March 4. He said the deal would have to include Hamas releasing the remaining hostages still being held in Gaza. It is estimated that 134 hostages are still being held captive by Hamas in Gaza, with about 101 alive. However, Hamas will not give exact numbers or names of the hostages still alive.

Biden’s optimism of a March 4 date for an agreement was met with caution by Qatar, Israel, and Hamas officials, with Hamas official Ahmad Abdel-Hadi stating Hamas has no interest “in giving up any of its demands.”

As it became clear an agreement was not going to be reached by March 4, Biden urged the leaders of Qatar and Egypt, who are two of the mediators with Hamas, to produce a deal for a cease-fire and release of the hostages.

On March 5, Biden announced a new timeline, saying that “in a couple of days,” he expects to know if Hamas agreed to the proposed deal, which includes a six-week cease-fire that allows for the release of the hostages and humanitarian aid into Gaza. He said the “rational offer” is in the “hands of Hamas.”

Israel stated if no deal is reached by March 10, then it will attack Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas. However, during the holy month of Ramadan, the Biden administration has emphasized the need to avoid conflict, though Hamas continues to call for an increase in “terror.” 

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