Kamala Harris Calls For Immediate, Temporary Ceasefire In Gaza

Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris has called for a temporary but “immediate ceasefire” in the war between Israel and Hamas, citing the need to provide more aid to Palestinians in the region.

On March 3, Harris discussed the “humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” noting the right to self-defense held by the Israeli state but urging a greater flow of aid to be sent into the Gaza Strip as the war continues. The vice president made the comments during an event commemorating the 59th anniversary of police officers assaulting civil rights protesters, known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Harris explained that the “immense scale of suffering” taking place in Gaza calls for “an immediate ceasefire” that will last at least six weeks. Amid applause from the crowd, she added that this proposition is “currently on the table” and will provide time to “get the hostages out” and “a significant amount of aid in.”

Ongoing armed conflict has swept through the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas—which has been designated a terrorist group by the United States—brutally killed more than a thousand innocent Israelis. Controversy has wrapped around the globe as the Israeli military has pushed back with full force, issuing air strikes and attacks in Gaza that have killed thousands more civilians.

Harris also noted that “the threat” from Hamas against the Israeli people “must be eliminated.” She said that “Hamas needs to agree” to the “deal on the table.” Although Israel has reportedly expressed agreement to the terms of the temporary ceasefire, Hamas has not issued any public response to the proposal.

The American vice president called for the ceasefire and increased humanitarian aid to Gaza one day before she was scheduled to meet with Benny Gantz, who works with the Israeli government’s war committee. The two were set to meet in Washington, D.C., on Mar. 4 while other mediators gathered in Egypt to talk about the temporary ceasefire deal.

Sources have confirmed with NPR that Hamas representatives are meeting with individuals from Qatar and Egypt to try and reach an agreement including the six-week ceasefire and terms to return Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

According to a new MSNBC report, Hamas has still not clarified some of its stipulations about the proposed deal, including which Palestinian prisoners the group wants released and how many detainees they demand in exchange for each hostage it returns to Israel.

Hamas is reportedly requesting temporary housing within the Gaza Strip, a retreat of Israeli soldiers and displaced Palestinian citizens to be able to come home. Israel, on the other hand, seeks to learn how many hostages taken by Hamas are still alive. Mediators are hoping the temporary ceasefire deal can be agreed upon before Ramadan begins on Mar. 10.