Biden is promoting negotiations that could lead to a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for 6 weeks

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Washington – President Biden said Monday that the United States is working to negotiate a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas that would halt the fighting in Gaza for at least six weeks.

In remarks at the White House alongside Jordanian King Abdullah II, Biden said the deal “will bring an immediate and sustainable period of calm to Gaza for at least six weeks, and we can then take the time to build something more sustainable.”

Biden said: “I have had contacts over the past month with Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as with the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to move this matter forward.” He added, “The main elements of the agreement are on the table. There are still gaps, but I encouraged Israeli leaders to continue working to achieve the agreement. The United States will do everything in its power to achieve this.”

Mr. Biden also said the United States does not know how many hostages held by the terrorist group are still alive.

“The suffering their families go through, week after week, month after month, is unimaginable,” he said. “It is a top priority for the United States to bring them home.”

The president sent CIA Director William Burns to Cairo for further hostage talks this week after Hamas presented a new set of conditions to the Qatari government. CBS News reported.

King Abdullah pushed for a ceasefire in Gaza following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. After his meeting with Biden at the White House, the Jordanian leader called for a “permanent ceasefire now.”

“This war must end,” he said, also calling for immediate and increased humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Their meeting comes as Israel intensifies its attack on RafahIt is a crowded city in the southern Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border. Israel says Rafah is Hamas’s last remaining stronghold, but it is estimated that more than a million displaced Palestinians have taken refuge there after fleeing fighting elsewhere in Gaza.

Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend, telling him that Israel “should not move forward” with the invasion of Rafah unless it has a “credible” plan to ensure the safety of people sheltering there.

Mr. Biden reiterated this in his remarks from the White House.

“A lot of people have been displaced there multiple times, fleeing violence in the north, and now they’re packed into Rafah, vulnerable and at risk. They need protection,” Biden said. He added: “We have also been clear from the beginning that we oppose any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza.”

Abdullah condemned the Israeli military operation, saying, “It will certainly lead to another humanitarian disaster.”

Abdullah said, “We cannot bear an Israeli attack on Rafah.” “The situation is already unbearable for more than a million people who have been pushed into Rafah since the war began. We cannot stand idly by and let this continue.”

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