Home Latest News Biden says he hopes to see a cease-fire by next week in the Israel-Hamas war

President Joe Biden said Monday that he hopes there will be a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war by next week.

“My hope is by next Monday we will have a cease-fire,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question while he was in New York City.

“My national security adviser tells me that we’re close, close but not done yet,” he said.

The White House has been working on cease-fire negotiations amid growing pressure from progressives and Palestinian allies.

NBC News has reported that Qatar is mediating talks between Israel and Hamas this week, and cease-fire negotiations have taken place among U.S., Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials in Paris.

According to several senior administration officials and Arab diplomats, the negotiators are racing to reach a temporary cease-fire. This is not only to release some of the hostages taken on Oct. 7 and get more aid to starving Gazans, the officials said, but to prevent an explosion of violence around the region when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins March 10.

Appearing on  “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Monday, Biden revealed that there has been “an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan” to “give us time to get all the hostages out.”

A person familiar with the negotiations in Qatar told NBC News “there has been progress, but there are still obstacles to be resolved.” This includes wrangling over the ratio of hostages to Palestinian prisoners that would be freed, they said.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that representatives “came to an understanding” about what “the basic contours of a hostage deal for temporary cease-fire would look like.”

“There will have to be indirect discussions by Qatar and Egypt with Hamas, because ultimately, they will have to agree to release the hostages,” Sullivan said in an interview with CNN, while declining to divulge specifics because the deal was still being negotiated. “That work is underway, and we hope that in the coming days we can drive to a point where there is actually a firm and final agreement on this issue, but we will have to wait and see.”

Israel’s military is planning a ground offensive in Rafah, where about 1.5 million people are taking refuge. Earlier Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the military has proposed a plan for evacuating civilians.

Earlier Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that if there were a temporary cease-fire, Israel would “then continue fighting until the very last hostages return.”

The war began on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, where 1,200 people were killed and 200 were kidnapped, according to the Israeli government. Nearly 30,000 people in Gaza have been killed since then, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

During a previous weeklong truce that ended on Dec. 1, more than 100 hostages held in Gaza were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

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