President Biden mentioned on Monday that he believed negotiators had been nearing an settlement that might halt Israel’s navy operations in Gaza inside a week in change for the discharge of a minimum of a number of the greater than 100 hostages being held by Hamas.

Talking with reporters throughout a cease in New York, Mr. Biden supplied essentially the most hopeful evaluation of the hostage talks by any main determine in lots of days, suggesting that the battle is perhaps near a main turning level.

“I hope by the end of the weekend,” he mentioned when requested by reporters when he anticipated a cease-fire to start. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday, we’ll have a cease-fire.”

The president delivered the feedback spontaneously in response to questions throughout a go to to an ice cream store after taping a phase on Seth Meyers’s late-night discuss present. They got here amid an energetic interval of talks within the area, as Israel’s battle cupboard over the weekend authorized the broad phrases of a deal that might contain a six-week truce for the discharge of about 40 hostages. An Israeli delegation is predicted to fulfill in Qatar with intermediaries from america, Egypt and Qatar.

An settlement for a prolonged cease-fire timed to begin with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan subsequent week would halt the Israeli bombardment within the Gaza Strip, which has killed many hundreds of Palestinians and created a humanitarian disaster. It might additionally present a gap for a surge in humanitarian help into Gaza, the place meals, water, electrical energy and different fundamentals are briefly provide.

A negotiated deal can be a dramatic, and maybe defining, second within the practically five-month-old Center East battle and will result in the discharge of the six remaining American hostages, who had been amongst greater than 200 seized and brought to Gaza when Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. About 1,200 individuals had been killed in Israel.

It might additionally finally imply freedom for dozens of different hostages nonetheless in captivity. Their households have been waging a stress marketing campaign in Israel and world wide to demand their launch, whilst Israel has responded to the Hamas assaults with a fierce floor and air assault.

Mr. Biden didn’t elaborate on Monday in regards to the particulars of a cease-fire or about whether or not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had signed off on a deal. However the president’s evaluation that one could possibly be reached by the tip of subsequent weekend was the clearest indication of progress in a number of weeks.

In a separate interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” on NBC taped on Monday afternoon and aired early Tuesday morning, the president mentioned a halt in hostilities might open the door to a broader realignment of the area that he has been working towards, with Arab states like Saudi Arabia recognizing Israel. However whereas he has been pushing Israel to just accept a so-called two-state answer by which the Palestinians would get a nation of their very own, he pulled again a bit by describing that as extra of a long-term purpose.

“If we get that temporary cease-fire, we’re going to be able to move in a direction where we can change the dynamic and not have a two-state solution immediately but a process to get to a two-state solution, a process to guarantee Israel’s security and the independence of the Palestinians,” he informed Mr. Meyers.

Whereas he once more backed Israel’s proper to defend itself after the Oct. 7 assault and known as himself a Zionist as he has earlier than, he pressed his argument that Israel must recalibrate its method to reduce civilian casualties particularly because it concentrates its operation within the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah.

“There are too many innocent people that are being killed,” he mentioned. “And Israel has slowed down the attacks in Rafah. They have to. And they’ve made a commitment to me they’re going to see to it that there is ability to evacuate significant portions of Rafah before they go and take out the remainder of Hamas.”

He added that Israel might threat the remaining friendships it has within the worldwide neighborhood if it doesn’t change course. “They’re going to lose support from around the world,” he mentioned. “And that is not in Israel’s interest.”

Mr. Netanyahu mentioned on Sunday that Israeli forces would invade Rafah no matter any cease-fire and hostage deal. “It has to be done,” he mentioned. “Because total victory is our goal, and total victory is within reach.” However he conceded that if a cease-fire had been agreed to, such an operation can be “delayed somewhat.”

For Mr. Biden, serving to to orchestrate a lasting deal to halt the preventing could possibly be a important step towards addressing a tough political vulnerability as he seeks a second time period within the White Home.

For months, Palestinian activists in america have been assailing Mr. Biden for what they view as his failure to do extra to forestall civilian deaths in Gaza. Protesters have dogged the president at most of his public occasions in latest weeks, generally waving indicators calling him “Genocide Joe.”

That anger is more likely to be on show on Tuesday, when Democratic voters in Michigan go to the polls to make their selection for the get together’s presidential nominee. Some activists in Michigan, which is house to many Palestinian Individuals, have urged voters to protest Mr. Biden’s stance on Gaza by voting for “uncommitted” within the major.

The timing of Mr. Biden’s response to an unprompted query by a reporter might undercut that effort and assist the president present energy within the major.

Efforts to safe an finish to the preventing have been within the works for the reason that early days of the battle, although the president and his aides have repeatedly defended Israel’s accountability to reply to the worst terrorist assault in its historical past.

On the identical time, the administration has been underneath rising stress to restrain Israel’s authorities in gentle of the rising dying toll in Gaza, which Gazan well being officers say now stands above 29,000, nearly all of them civilians. In November, america helped dealer a quick pause within the preventing that led to the discharge of about 100 hostages. Israel’s navy assault continued after the pause broke down over disagreements with Hamas.

In latest weeks, negotiators have expressed optimism that talks between the events have been transferring in the correct course. However the discussions had been being held in opposition to a backdrop of threats from Mr. Netanyahu that the nation’s forces had been prepared for a main assault on Rafah, within the southern a part of Gaza.

Greater than a million civilians, lots of whom fled Israel’s bombing within the north of Gaza, are gathered in Rafah, and humanitarian organizations warned that a main assault by Israel there might kill hundreds extra.

Mr. Biden talked with Mr. Netanyahu on Feb. 15, and White Home officers mentioned in a abstract of the decision that the 2 males “discussed ongoing hostage negotiations” and that the president “reaffirmed his commitment to working tirelessly to support the release of all hostages.”