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Biden says he hopes to see a cease-fire by next week in the Israel-Hamas war


US President Joe Biden speaks to a bipartisan group of governors in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, on February 23, 2024. 

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Joe Biden said Monday that he hopes there will be a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war by next week.

“My hope is by next Monday we will have a cease-fire,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question while he was in New York City.

“My national security advisor tells me that we’re close, close but not done yet,” he said.

Biden’s remarks come as the White House has been working on cease-fire negotiations amid growing pressure from progressives and Palestinian allies.

NBC News has previously reported that Qatar is mediating talks between Israel and Hamas this week, and cease-fire negotiations have taken place between U.S., Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials in Paris.

Israel’s military is planning a ground offensive in Rafah, where about 1.5 million people are taking refuge. Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the military has proposed a plan for evacuating civilians.

US President Joe Biden speaks with host Seth Meyers as they enjoy an ice cream at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream after taping an episode of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in New York City on February 26, 2024. 

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Earlier on Monday, Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said that if there was a temporary cease-fire, Israel would “then continue fighting until the very last hostages return.”

The war began on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, where 1,200 were killed and 200 were kidnapped, according to the Israeli government. Nearly 30,000 people in Gaza have been killed since then, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

During a previous weeklong truce that ended on Dec. 1, more than 100 hostages held in Gaza were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

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