In his Ramzan message, Biden promises to work towards ceasefire in Gaza

'The suffering of the Palestinian people will be front of mind for many'

AP10_18_2023_000081B President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

In his Ramadan message, US President Joe Biden pledged to work towards a six-week-long ceasefire in Gaza, stating that the plight of Palestinian people "will be front of mind for many."

In a statement released on Sunday, Biden said the sacred month is a time for reflection and renewal. "This year, it comes at a moment of immense pain. The war in Gaza has inflicted terrible suffering on the Palestinian people," says the president. "Nearly two million Palestinians have been displaced by the war; many are in urgent need of food, water, medicine, and shelter."

He also pledged to lead international efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and work non-stop to establish an immediate and sustained ceasefire for at least six weeks there.  

"As Muslims gather around the world over the coming days and weeks to break their fast, the suffering of the Palestinian people will be front of mind for many," he said. "It is front of mind for me, said the US president. 

"Some of the Palestinians killed in Gaza are family members of American Muslims, who are deeply grieving their lost loved ones today," Biden said.

"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. 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," Biden said.

"The US will continue to lead international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza by land, air, and sea," he said.

"Earlier this week, I directed our military to lead an emergency mission to establish a temporary pier on the coast of Gaza that can receive large shipments of aid. We are carrying out airdrops of aid, in coordination with our international partners, including Jordan. 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.  

Biden's statement also reflected on the "appalling resurgence" of hate and violence towards Muslim Americans. "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," Biden said.

Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded publicly to criticism from Biden, saying that the US President was wrong. 

Biden had hit out at Netanyahu, stating that his stance was "hurting Israel more than helping Israel" with his handling of the war against Hamas. 

Netanyahu defended his stance in an interview with Politico: "I don’t know exactly what the president meant, but if he meant by that I’m pursuing private policies against the wish of the majority of Israelis, and that this is hurting the interests of Israel, then he’s wrong on both counts."

"These are not my private policies only," Netanyahu continued. "They are policies supported by the overwhelming majority of Israelis."

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