President Biden Optimistic for Ceasefire as Israel-Hamas Negotiations Progress

Catch up on the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas conflict as President Biden leads negotiations for a ceasefire by Monday. Stay informed on progress in talks and prospects for peace amid escalating tensions.
President Biden Optimistic for Ceasefire as Israel-Hamas Negotiations Progress

President Joe Biden expressed optimism about the possibility of a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, aiming for a resolution by Monday. Biden's remarks coincide with reports indicating some progress in indirect negotiations between Israeli and Hamas officials.

The proposed ceasefire involves provisions for aid deliveries to Gaza and the release of additional hostages taken during the Hamas attacks on October 7. While President Biden indicated proximity to a ceasefire deal, Israeli authorities have not issued a comment, and Hamas officials suggest that the two sides may not be as close to an agreement as indicated.

Following the Hamas attack that resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people in southern Israel and the abduction of 253 individuals, Israel launched a significant air and ground campaign in Gaza. The ongoing conflict has claimed the lives of at least 29,878 people in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, with 96 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, and an additional 70,215 individuals wounded.

Kamala Harris as Joe Biden
Kamala Harris as Joe Biden

Negotiations involving officials from Egypt, Israel, Qatar, and the US are ongoing in an effort to secure a temporary halt in the hostilities. Reuters reports that Hamas is currently reviewing a draft framework, proposed by France, which includes a 40-day cessation of all military operations and an exchange of Palestinians held in Israeli jails for Israeli hostages, with a ratio of 10 to one.

President Biden Optimistic for Ceasefire as Israel-Hamas Negotiations Progress
Progress in Gaza Talks Spurs Israel's Ceasefire Consideration

President Biden remarked to reporters that significant progress has been made but emphasized that work remains to be done, expressing hope for a ceasefire by the following Monday. He also mentioned on NBC's "Late Night With Seth Meyers" that Israel would be willing to pause its assault during the upcoming Ramadan period if a deal was reached.

However, a Hamas official emphasized that the priority for them is the cessation of the war itself rather than the exchange of detainees. They stressed the importance of a complete ceasefire, the return of displaced individuals, and the reconstruction of Gaza.

Last week, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, proposing instead its resolution for a temporary ceasefire "as soon as practicable." This resolution also cautioned Israel against invading the southern Gazan city of Rafah under current circumstances.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office stated that plans were received from the military for the evacuation of civilians from Rafah, and Netanyahu affirmed in an interview with CBS that Israeli forces would eventually invade Rafah, with or without a temporary ceasefire agreement, asserting the necessity of addressing the last Hamas stronghold.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh resigned along with his government, which governs parts of the occupied West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation, potentially opening the path for a technocratic government. Abbas is under pressure from the US to reform the PA to facilitate governance in Gaza post-conflict. Notably, Netanyahu's recent vision for the territory did not include any role for the PA.

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Vikatan English