Israel Palestine Conflict

Biden says Gaza ceasefire ‘probably not by Monday’ as predicted earlier

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US President Joe Biden said a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was now unlikely to happen by Monday, the timeline that he had predicted earlier this week.

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Asked by reporters Thursday whether he expected that to happen, Biden said that “hope springs eternal” and that he had been speaking to regional leaders about a ceasefire, but added “probably not by Monday.”

US President Joe Biden also said the United States was checking reports of Israeli firing on people waiting for food in Gaza and he believes the deadly incident will complicate talks on a ceasefire.

“I know it will,” Biden told reporters as he left the White House for a trip when asked whether the incident would complicate negotiations.

Health authorities in Gaza said Israeli fire on people waiting for aid near Gaza City on Thursday had killed 104 Palestinians and wounded 280, with one hospital saying it had received 10 bodies and dozens of injured patients.

“We’re checking that out right now,” Biden said as he left the White House for a trip. “There’s two competing versions of what happened. I don’t have an answer yet.”

He also said a temporary ceasefire probably would not happen by Monday, as he had earlier predicted.

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

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Israel and Hamas as well as Qatari mediators all sounded notes of caution this week about progress towards a truce in Gaza, where health authorities say more than 30,000 people have been killed in Israeli attacks.

The war began when Hamas sent fighters into Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

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