EXPLAINER: What we're being told about a ceasefire in Gaza.

US President Joe Biden says he hopes a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas can take effect by March 4.

Asked when he hoped such a deal could be finalised, he said: "Well, I hope by the end of the weekend. My national security adviser tells me that they're close. They're close. They're not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we'll have a ceasefire."

Talks towards a deal have resumed at the specialist level in Qatar, which is the main mediator, along with Egypt.

The ceasefire would pause hostilities and allow for remaining hostages to be released.

Biden claimed that Israel has agreed to halt military activities in Gaza for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on the evening of March 10 and ends on the evening of April 9.

The draft proposal would reportedly allow hospitals and bakeries in Gaza to be repaired and 500 aid trucks to enter the enclave every day. It remains the most serious attempt in weeks to end the war that reignited in October last year.

The draft also reportedly states Hamas would free 40 Israeli hostages including women, children under 19, elderly over 50 and the sick, while Israel would release about 400 Palestinian prisoners and will not re-arrest them.

Israel and Hamas as well as Qatari mediators have all sounded notes of caution though about progress towards a truce in the Gaza Strip.


The draft appears to stop short of satisfying Hamas' main demand for any agreement to include a clear path towards a permanent end to the war and Israeli withdrawal.

Qatar said a breakthrough has yet to be reached, though final details are being discussed, saying they "remain hopeful that we can get to some kind of agreement".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that an Israeli military offensive in the city of Rafah could be "delayed somewhat" if a deal for a weeks-long ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is reached.

The situation in Rafah, where dense tent camps have sprouted to house the displaced, has sparked global concern and Israel's allies have warned that it must protect civilians in its battle against Hamas.

A new poll this week says the majority of Australians are in favour of a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Australia Government has called for Israel to respect international law during its war in Gaza and for the unconditional release of all remaining hostages and for Hamas to play no part in future governance.

With AAP.

Feature Image: AAP.