US President Joe Biden said late Monday that he has hopes there will be a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas by the end of the week. Strangely, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reportedly “surprised” by Biden’s comments, according to a source who spoke to ABC News.

“Well I hope by the beginning of the weekend. I mean, the end of the weekend,” Biden told a reporter while visiting an ice cream parlor with late-night host Seth Meyers on Monday. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close, we’re close but not done yet. And my hope is that by next Monday we will have a ceasefire.”

CNN backs up ABC’s claim, saying that an Israeli official told them Israel was “surprised that [Biden] used the word ‘Monday’ and that he used the word ‘ceasefire.’” The official added that Israel has negotiated for a deal that includes the release of 40 hostages.

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During his appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Biden said there will be a ceasefire during the hostage negotiations, and said Saudia Arabia is ready to recognize Israel. He did not guarantee a two-state solution but said this next round of peace negotiations will build the way to a two-state solution. He said he wants Palestine to have independence but does not want them to have the power to bring in foreign powers to serve as their defense.

“The major obstacles have been resolved in terms of Hamas insisting on a full withdrawal of Israeli forces and end to the war,” a senior White House official told CNN, “Hamas’ requirements for the numbers of Palestinian [prisoners that] would have to be freed has declined.”

A ceasefire would be a far cry from Netanyahu’s recent oath, made in Hebrew on National Israeli television, to gain control of the Levant from the river to the sea, utterly dismantling Hamas or any other Islamic faction that aims to possess Gaza and the West Bank.

The Biden administration is under pressure from the left to push back on Israel in its campaign against Hamas. As of February 19th, the Gaza Health Ministry claimed over 29,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war, making the conflict one of the deadliest in recent history. Both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris have called for a ceasefire, directly challenging Israel on its claimed mandate to carry out its revenge for the Oct 7th attacks.

On Sunday, an active-duty member of the United States Air Force lit himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. Activists across the country and around the world have called for an end to America’s funding of the Israeli military. Qatar is currently holding talks between Israel and Hamas, and close-door ceasefire negotiations have been held with American, Israeli, Qatari, and Egyptian leaders in Paris.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).

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