Gaza ceasefire: Israel has agreed to a framework, US says

Israel has agreed to the framework for a proposed Gaza ceasefire, a senior U.S. official told The Associated Press Saturday.

The Israelis "have more or less accepted" the proposal, which includes the six-week ceasefire as well as the release by Hamas of hostages considered vulnerable, which includes the sick, the wounded, the elderly and women, said the official.

"Right now, the ball is in the court of Hamas and we are continuing to push this as hard as we possibly can," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House to brief reporters.

Officials from Israel and from Hamas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Talks with mediators Egypt and Qatar were scheduled to start Sunday, during which a response from Hamas was expected, a senior Egyptian official said.

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Gaza ceasefire

International mediators have been working for weeks to broker a deal to pause the fighting before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins around March 10.

A deal would likely allow aid to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza who aid officials worry are under threat of famine.

The news of the possible framework came as marches are planned across the country and the world Saturday to call for a ceasefire and end to what advocates say is a genocide of the Palestinian people. 

Gaza's Health Ministry said the Palestinian death toll from the war has climbed to 30,320 and hundreds of thousands more are struggling to survive the grip of Israel’s retaliation after the Hamas militant group attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Most recently, the U.S. began air-dropping humanitarian aid into Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire at a Gaza aid site, killing 115 Palestinians on Feb. 29. 


Palestinians run along a street as humanitarian aid is airdropped in Gaza City on March 1, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden said that the U.S. was looking into more ways to bring much needed aid into the region and to help ease the suffering of Palestinians. 

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The U.S. has vetoed several versions of UN Security Council resolutions demanding an immediate ceasefire.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.