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Biden: Gaza cease-fire could start before next week

President Biden said Monday that a cease-fire in Gaza could start before next week, stressing that talks involving Israel, the U.S., Egypt, Qatar and Hamas are close to reaching a deal.

“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 ceasefire,” Biden told reporters during a visit to New York.

The president’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday he was hopeful there will be an agreement in the coming days on a deal. Negotiators, including CIA Director Bill Burns, talked in Paris last week, and Hamas was briefed on the talks Sunday, CNN reported.

“The representatives of Israel, the United States, Egypt and Qatar met in Paris and came to an understanding among the four of them about what the basic contours of a hostage deal for temporary cease-fire would look like,” Sullivan told CNN. “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.”

The Biden administration has been involved in months of negotiations for a temporary pause in fighting of about six weeks between Israel and Hamas to release the remaining hostages taken during the deadly attacks on Oct. 7.

“It is our priority to move forward with a temporary cease-fire,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier Monday.

The Biden administration last week introduced a resolution at the U.N. that calls for a temporary cease-fire and the release of more than 100 Israeli hostages held by Hamas. The resolution was offered as an alternative text after the U.S. vetoed another U.N. resolution calling for Israel to implement a cease-fire.

Biden has faced growing pressure to back a permanent cease-fire, especially from progressives and Democrats in Michigan.

The Democratic primary will take place Tuesday in Michigan, and there has been an effort by critics of Biden’s policy on Israel’s war to convince people to vote “uncommitted.”

Michigan is also expected to be a tight contest in the fall, adding to the pressure on Biden. It is one of six states seen as key to the presidential election.

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Source: The Hill

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