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Biden: Gaza cease-fire 'probably not by Monday'

President Biden now says that a cease-fire in Gaza probably won’t start before next week, adding that the civilian deaths in Gaza will complicate negotiations.

“Hope springs eternal,” Biden said Thursday when asked if he expects a cease-fire by Monday. 

“I was on the telephone with people in the region,” he added. “Probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful.”

Biden also said he didn’t have “an answer yet” on news of civilian deaths in Gaza.

More than 100 Palestinians in Gaza City were killed Thursday while trying to get humanitarian aid, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry. The ministry also said 30,035 people have died since the war between Israel and militant group Hamas began in early October.

When asked if he thought the civilian deaths could complicate negotiations over a hostage deal, the president replied: “I know it will.”

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

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

Biden has faced growing pressure to back a permanent cease-fire, especially from progressives. More than 100,000 voters cast a ballot for “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Democratic primary Tuesday as part of a concerted effort by activists to send Biden a message about their anger over his handling of the war.

Source: The Hill

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