Biden Hopes For Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire By Next Week

Israel and Hamas might come to an agreement on a cease-fire in their war in Gaza on Monday, according to President Joe Biden.

Speaking to reporters in New York City, Biden said, “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close, we’re close, it’s not done yet. And my hope is that by next Monday we’ll have a cease-fire.”

During an appearance of NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers” earlier this week, Biden said that the suggestion of pausing the war during Ramadan which begins around March 10 is on the table and Israel might be open to it if a deal can be reached.

“Ramadan’s coming up and there has been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan as well, in order to give us time to get all the hostages out,” the president said.

Biden had revealed in February that the U.S. was trying to negotiate a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas that would put fighting in Gaza on hold for up to six weeks. According to him, the ceasefire deal would “bring an immediate and sustained period of calm to Gaza for at least six weeks, which we could then take the time to build something more enduring.”

Israel plans to launch a ground operation in Rafah, a city close to Egypt’s border, as it pushed forward with its mission to defeat Hamas in retaliation for its Oct. 7 attack that left about 1300 people dead.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Rafah operation might be delayed by a hostage deal, the country is not going off-course in its plan to destroy the terrorist group Hamas.

Emphasizing Israel’s plan to move forward with the operation sometime later, Netanyahu stated, “We can’t leave the last Hamas stronghold without taking care of it, obviously, we have to do it. But understand, too, that I’ve asked the army to submit to me a double plan, first to evacuate to enable the evacuation of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and, obviously, second, to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions.”

“That gets us a real distance towards the completion of our victory, and that we’re not going to give it up. If we have a deal, it’ll be delayed somewhat. But it’ll happen. If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway. It has to be done. Because total victory is our goal, and total victory is within reach. Not months away, weeks away once we begin the operation,” he added.