Biden: Hoping for a ‘ceasefire’ by next week

Biden stressed that his “hope is that by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire.”

By World Israel News Staff

President Joe Biden said he hoped that Israel and terror group Hamas would reach a “ceasefire” agreement that would mark the end of the conflict and the return of some 130 Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

When a reporter asked Biden when he expected a hostage deal would be reached, he said that he “hope[d] by the beginning of the weekend. The end of the weekend.”

He added that his national security adviser told him “that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet.”

Biden stressed that his “hope is that by next Monday [March 4] we’ll have a ceasefire.”

His statement comes on the heels of Israeli negotiators reportedly reaching a rough outline for a deal, which is said to be under consideration by Hamas.

Biden’s choice of words is also significant. The president had previously refrained from calling for a ceasefire, instead urging a “pause” or “humanitarian break” in the fighting.

Some Democrats, particularly Arab-Americans in the swing state of Michigan, have said that they will not vote for Biden in the upcoming November 2024 election due to his support for Israel during the war.

Perhaps because of that threat, Biden has begun more publicly criticizing the Israeli government for its military actions in Gaza.

While Biden initially backed Israel’s offensive against Hamas following the unprecedented massacres of October 7th, the president has since indicated that he believes Jerusalem should scale down its military operations in the Strip.

Earlier in February, Biden said that Israel’s war in the coastal enclave was “over the top.”

In the same press conference, Biden said he’s been “pushing really hard, really hard, to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza. There are a lot of innocent people who are starving, a lot of innocent people who are in trouble and dying, and it’s gotta stop. Number one.”

Officials from the Biden administration have told their Israeli counterparts that they will not support an Israeli incursion into Rafah, a Hamas stronghold in the southern Gaza Strip, without a detailed plan for evacuating civilians.