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Biden hopes for beginning of ceasefire in Gaza Strip within week

Biden hopes for beginning of ceasefire in Gaza Strip within week Photo: US President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

President Joe Biden expressed hope that negotiators would secure a temporary pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. He referred to the talks as "close" and added that a ceasefire could begin as early as next Monday, according to Bloomberg.

"My national security adviser tells me that we’re close, we’re close, we’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a cease-fire," Biden said on Monday in New York.

The White House statement came a day before the Democratic primaries in Michigan, a key state where he hopes to be re-elected for a second term in the November elections. While he faces no serious contenders for the nomination, critics of his Israeli policy encourage voters to choose the "not supportive" option on the ballot to express dissatisfaction with this stance.

Due to his approach to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Biden has faced negative reactions from Muslim and Arab Americans, as well as some young voters and progressives.

Peace talks between Israel and the Hamas group

In early February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that a complete victory for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was imminent. He also announced the readiness of the IDF to initiate a ground invasion into the city of Rafah near the border with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip.

However, the United States has been pressuring Netanyahu to delay the next stage of the military operation until he provides detailed plans for the protection of the civilian population. According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, over 29,000 people have died as a result of the hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

While Biden has supported Israel's right to self-defense, he has also urged the Israeli government to do more to avoid civilian casualties.

The latest ceasefire negotiations failed two weeks ago when Netanyahu rejected Hamas's proposal for a four-and-a-half-month truce, which would conclude with the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated on Sunday, October 25, that representatives of Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar reached "broad contours" of a deal on hostages during a meeting in Paris, in exchange for a temporary ceasefire.

Israel has threatened to advance on Rafah if Hamas does not release hostages by the beginning of Ramadan (March 10).

Egypt has threatened to suspend a key peace agreement with Israel if the country's military enters Rafah.