Biden walks back prediction of Monday cease-fire deal in Gaza: ‘Hopeful’ but ‘probably not’

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden expressed skepticism Thursday that a cease-fire agreement could be struck in the Israel-Hamas war by Monday, as he had said he hoped would happen.

“Hope springs eternal,” Biden told reporters as he left for a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border when asked if he still expected an agreement by Monday.

“I was on the telephone with the people in the region,” he continued, adding: “Probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful.”

Biden held separate calls Thursday morning with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to discuss hostage talks and the overall situation in Gaza.

The White House said that Biden and the leaders agreed that Hamas should release hostages and underscored that doing so “would result in an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza over a period of at least six weeks.”

“They exchanged views on how such a prolonged period of calm could then be built into something more enduring,” the White House said in readouts of the conversations. “They also discussed planning to surge humanitarian assistance into Gaza and how the ceasefire under the hostage deal would further help enable those efforts and ensure that assistance reached civilians in need throughout Gaza.”

Biden had said earlier this week that he hoped a deal would come to fruition by Monday, telling reporters during a trip to New York, “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close — close but not done yet.”

Asked at a White House press briefing Wednesday if that was still the expectation, Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the administration is “working around the clock to get that done.” She said an agreement would include getting more humanitarian aid into Gaza and ensuring that hostages in Gaza, including Americans, could be released to return home.

Qatar has been mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas this week, and talks about a potential cease-fire have also taken place among U.S., Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials in Paris.

Violence in the Gaza Strip continued on Thursday when Israeli forces fired on a crowd of people waiting for humanitarian aid trucks. At least 100 people were killed and dozens more were wounded, said Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

NBC News has not independently verified the reported death toll. The Israeli military said it was reviewing the incident. An Israeli government source said that IDF troops responded with “live fire” after people surrounded trucks carrying humanitarian aid.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a post on X, “This morning humanitarian aid trucks entered northern Gaza, residents surrounded the trucks and looted the supplies being delivered. As a result of the pushing, trampling and being run over by the trucks, dozens of Gazans were killed and injured.”

Reacting to the incident, a spokesperson for Biden’s National Security Council said Thursday that the White House is looking into the reports.

“We mourn the loss of innocent life and recognize the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where innocent Palestinians are just trying to feed their families,” the spokesperson said. “This underscores the importance of expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including through a potential temporary cease-fire. We continue to work day and night to achieve that outcome.”

During his comments Thursday, Biden also addressed the recent state Supreme Court ruling in Alabama that defined embryos as children, imperiling in vitro fertilization.

Asked about the Catholic Church’s stance that IVF is immoral, the president — a practicing Catholic — said, “I don’t agree with that position.”

This article was originally published on

Signup bonus from $125 to $3000 | Signup now Football & Online Casino

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

You Might Also Like: