Biden Expresses Hopes for Ceasefire in the Next Week

( – President Joe Biden says he is hoping a cease-fire will be negotiated within the next week between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

While visiting New York City, Biden was questioned about the ongoing conflict, and between licks of an ice cream cone, he told a reporter that he hopes a cease-fire will be initiated “by next Monday,” March 4th. The president said that a national security adviser informed him that the deal is “close but not done yet.”

Since the conflict in the Middle East escalated, the Biden administration has only supported temporary pauses in the fight so far, but after a rise in pro-Palestinian activism and dissatisfaction with the president’s moderate stance, Biden’s support has been waning heavily amongst his voters. Now, the White House has shifted directions and is actively working on seeing a cease-fire negotiated effectively.

The talks between Israel and Hamas are reportedly being mediated by the Qatari government, and negotiations have taken place in Paris involving officials from France, the US, Israel, Qatar, and Egypt. It seems the negotiators are looking to achieve a temporary cease-fire. According to several officials and diplomats, the cease-fire was more than a pause to secure more hostages held in Gaza and to deliver additional aid to suffering Palestinians, but also to mitigate the surge of violence in the Middle East before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins on March 10th.

Biden mentioned this plan on Monday, February 26th, during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” revealing to the audience and viewers that an agreement was underway that would halt Israel’s military operations during Ramadan in order to make time “to get all the hostages out.”

Hamas took at least 200 hostages during their October 7th, 2023, surprise attack on Israel that killed an estimated 1,200. That attack sparked Israel’s counteroffensive war on the Palestinian territories to weed out the militant Islamic leadership, killing around 30,000 people in the Gaza Strip and, in turn, sparking international protests.

Although Biden is optimistic, there are still obstacles stalling negotiations, and Hamas leadership has downplayed the leaked details about how smoothly it’s going as Israeli leadership refuses Hamas’s demands for the Jewish state to withdraw all of its forces.

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