Biden Expresses Doubt Over Reaching Gaza Ceasefire Deal by Monday, but Remains Hopeful

Credits: France 24

US President Joe Biden called into question Thursday his original timeline for when he thought a deal could be reached for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza but said he remains hopeful that it can be achieved. Asked by a reporter if a truce could be brokered by Monday, Biden said: “Hope springs eternal.”

“I was on the telephone with the people in the region. I’m still working on it. Probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful,” the president said as he prepared to depart the White House for Texas. Biden said earlier this week that he hoped a cease-fire could occur by March 4, citing momentum in ongoing negotiations.

Joe Biden (Credits: NDTV)

Asked if Israel’s shootings of malnourished Palestinians as they waited for badly-needed humanitarian aid in Gaza would complicate the talks, Biden said: “I know it will.” He said, however, that he does not definitively know what happened.

An Israeli military source admitted Thursday that the army opened fire on Palestinians waiting to receive humanitarian aid in Gaza City, leaving hundreds dead and injured.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu that the shooting took place near the “humanitarian corridor” that the army is establishing south of Gaza City.

The deadly assault occurred when several Palestinians approached the Israeli force as they monitored the entry of aid trucks into Gaza City, posing danger to the soldiers who then opened fire, according to the source. The shootings remain under investigation.

The Israeli military claimed that a stampede resulted in casualties among the Palestinians, as did the trucks that allegedly struck civilians during the chaos.

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 104 Palestinians were killed in the attack and over 700 others injured.
Israel has launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by Hamas in which less than 1,200 people were killed.

At least 30,035 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, and 70,457 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents in the north where the shootings on Thursday took place, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine. In comparison, 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

I'm Richard Rosales, I cover political news and ongoing US elections.