Biden 'hopeful' of ceasefire in Gaza by the 'end of the week' as hostage proposal sent to Hamas

27 February 2024, 07:31 | Updated: 27 February 2024, 08:02

Biden is hopeful of a ceasefire by the end of the week
Biden is hopeful of a ceasefire by the end of the week. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Joe Biden has said he is "hopeful" that a ceasefire can be achieved in Gaza by the "end of the week" with a deal involving the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners inching closer.

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"My national security advisor tells me that we're close," Mr Biden said on Monday.

"We're not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we'll have a ceasefire," he went on.

It comes as a proposal to swap Israeli hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners has been sent to Hamas.

Several days of talks have been taking place between Israel, the US, Egypt and Qatar in a bid to bring about a ceasefire in the region.

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden. Picture: Alamy

The hostage deal that is with Hamas proposes that all Israeli women, children aged 19 and under, the elderly and sick should be released in exchange for some Palestinian prisoners.

Read More: Israel ready to halt war during Ramadan if hostage deal reached, says Biden

Read More: 'Progress' made in Gaza ceasefire talks after Hamas 'drop some of its demands' that could see Israeli hostages released

It is not clear at this stage where Hamas will accept that latest proposal.

Nonetheless, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said "progress" had been made".

Benjamin Netanyahu has 'let you down', says James O'Brien

The ongoing war in Gaza started after Hamas carried out a series of terrorist attacks in southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people.

The attackers also took 253 people hostage, some whom have since been released but dozens remain in captivity.

Israel almost immediately launched a retaliatory bombardment campaign and has moved to wipe out pockets of Hamas throughout Gaza. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the process.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, the death toll in Gaza stands at 29,782.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Picture: Alamy

Last week, the United States came under intense scrutiny after vetoing a UN Security Council resolution, which called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Instead, the US put forward its own resolution for a temporary resolution, which also warned the Israelis against invading the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

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