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President Biden has signaled that a ceasefire in Gaza is unlikely to begin before next week, attributing delays in part to recent civilian casualties.

“Hope springs eternal,” the President said, expressing cautious optimism while also noting, “Probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful.” This comes amid reports of significant civilian deaths in Gaza, a factor Biden acknowledges will impact the pace of negotiations.

Today, the Gaza Health Ministry reported the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians in Gaza City during attempts to access humanitarian aid, with total casualties since the conflict began in early October now exceeding 30,000. “I know it will,” Biden responded when questioned about the potential complications arising from these civilian deaths on the negotiation efforts, particularly concerning a hostage deal.

Biden’s comments are a notable shift from earlier optimism, where a ceasefire was deemed possible before the upcoming week, with talks involving Israel, the US, Egypt, Qatar, and Hamas nearing a deal, according to the President and his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan.

Sullivan had expressed hope for an agreement “in the coming days” on a deal aiming for a six-week pause in fighting to release hostages taken by Hamas on October 7.


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