Israel-Hamas ceasefire could come as soon as Friday: report

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could come as soon as Friday, people involved in the discussions told The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. and foreign officials told the newspaper that Egyptian officials have made progress in their negotiations with Hamas’ leadership.

The Biden administration believes a cease-fire could come this week, a U.S. official told the newspaper, provided that unforeseen clashes don’t disrupt discussions.

The U.S., Egypt, Qatar and several other European nations have been working to get Israeli and Hamas leaders in Gaza to end violence that has escalated in the last week, according to the Journal.

A U.S. official told the Journal that the only issue is timing. There are also concerns that Islamic Jihad, a militant group fighting alongside Hamas, could provoke the situation further after the sides agree in principle to a cease-fire.

The Hill has reached out to The White House for comment.

The move comes amid pressure on Israel and Hamas to end fighting amid dire circumstances. The latest round of conflict had been escalating for nearly one month between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem before erupting into full on war on May 10 between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Over 227 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, during which he said he “expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.” The call was the first time Biden indicated a timeline on when he wants to see a reduction in the violence.

After the call, Netanyahu said he was determined “to continue this operation until its objective is achieved: to restore the calm and security to you, citizens of Israel.”

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