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Biden hopes for ceasefire in days as Israelis, Hamas take part in Qatar talks


President Joe Biden expressed his desire to achieve a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza by next Monday, as negotiations in Qatar progress towards a deal and also focus on securing the release of hostages.


Both parties participating in proximity talks, where mediators meet with each side separately but in the same city, indicated that negotiations were more advanced than they had been since the beginning of FebruaryDuring that time, Israel turned down a counter-offer from Hamas for a four-and-a-half-month truce.


Biden expressed his desire for a ceasefire to commence in the coming days. "I hope the ceasefire will start by the end of the weekend," he clarified.


"According to my national security adviser, we are nearing completion." We are near. We still need to complete the task. During a visit to New York, Biden expressed his hope for a ceasefire by next Monday.


A U.S. official stated that U.S. negotiators were making strong efforts to secure a deal involving a pause in hostilities in exchange for hostages by the start of Ramadan on March 10. Top U.S. officials were addressing the matter last week. According to the official, the optimism stemmed from the meetings between the Israelis and Qataris.


Publicly, Israel and Hamas maintained opposing stances regarding a potential ceasefire, each accusing the other of causing delays.


Following his meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al ThaniIsmail Haniyeh, the secretive leader of Hamas, stated that his group supported initiatives to end the war and criticised Israel for delaying. At the same time, people in Gaza suffer from the blockade.


"We will not permit the enemy to use negotiations as a pretext for this crime," he stated.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel was prepared to agree, and it was Hamas' responsibility to abandon what he referred to as unrealistic demands.


"We are interested in securing this deal if possible." The outcome is contingent on Hamas. "It is now entirely their decision," he informed the U.S. network Fox News. "They need to face reality."


Al Thani's office stated that Al Thani and the Hamas leader had talked about Qatar's attempts to mediate an "instantaneous and enduring ceasefire deal in the Gaza Strip."


According to Reuters, an Israeli working delegation travelled to Qatar to establish an operational centre to assist in negotiations. The mission would involve evaluating Palestinian militants proposed by Hamas for release in a hostage exchange deal, according to the source.

Israel asserts it will not cease the war until Hamas is eliminated. At the same time, Hamas insists it will not release hostages without a war-ending agreement.


Israel's economy and industry ministerNir Barkat, stated to Reuters at a conference in the United Arab Emirates that Israel is fully dedicated to eradicating Hamas. His attendance at the event indicated Arab states' ongoing recognition of Israel, which has provoked Palestinian militants.


Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official, stated to Reuters that a ceasefire agreement would need to include ending aggression, withdrawing occupation forces, repatriating displaced individuals, allowing aid entry, providing shelter equipment, and facilitating rebuilding efforts.


Israel is being urged by the United States to quickly agree to a ceasefire to prevent a potential attack on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where a large portion of the enclave's population is seeking refuge. The U.S. is concerned that the situation could escalate into a violent conflict.




Netanyahu affirmed that an attack on Rafah was still scheduled and that Israel had a strategy to remove civilians from danger. Netanyahu stated that Israel would proceed with the attack regardless of Washington's request. We make independent decisions, but we will proceed with including the evacuation of civilians.


Discussions have gained momentum since Friday, when Israeli officials met with delegations from the United StatesEgypt, and Qatar in Paris to negotiate terms of a hostage release deal, excluding Hamas.


Following Hamas' attack resulting in 1,200 deaths and 253 hostages on October 7, Israel initiated a comprehensive ground offensive in Gaza, resulting in approximately 30,000 confirmed fatalities, as reported by Gaza health authorities.


The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, who has limited civil control in parts of the West Bank, resigned on Monday, potentially affecting future negotiations.


Mohammad Shtayyeh announced his resignation to facilitate the establishment of a widespread agreement among Palestinians regarding political structures after the Gaza conflict.


The Palestinian Authority, acknowledged by Western nations as the legitimate representative of Palestinians, ceded authority over Gaza to Hamas in 2007Washington has requested changes to the Palestinian Authority as a component of a comprehensive plan to govern Palestinian territoriesincluding Gazafollowing the conflict.

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