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Israel Palestine conflict: Will there be a ceasefire this week?

Israel Palestine: Biden expecting 'de-escalation' says expert

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The USA, along with Egypt, Qatar and a number of European nations, has been working to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders to bring an end to airstrikes that have now killed hundreds of Palestinians and numerous Israeli citizens. The conflict between Israel and Palestine has imploded over the past week in the long-standing hostility between the sides.

Attacks on Gaza have escalated over the fortnight, with fighter jets from Israel having mainly targeted Gaza City and areas to the north.

Hamas has responded with their own rocket fire, much of which has been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.

The violence is the worst seen since 2014, culminating after weeks of rising tensions and clashes at a holy site revered by both Jews and Muslims.

Most recently, there have been more than 100 Israeli airstrikes in Gaza early on Thursday, along with bombardments conducted by Israel’s navy.

This morning, both sides halted fire for several hours, but it is currently not clear if the quiet was part of an agreement or a temporary lull.

Previous ceasefires have been preceded by similar drops in violence, which are used as a type of trust-building measure.

Since fighting erupted on May 10, Palestinian health officials say they believe 228 people have been killed by Israeli air bombardments so far.

Israeli officials have put its death toll to date at 12.

Will there be a ceasefire this week?

A ceasefire could become reality as early as Friday, according to officials involved in the talks as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Egyptian officials have made headway in negotiations with Hamas’s leadership.

The Biden administration is anticipating a ceasefire could be on the cards this week, barring any unforeseen clashes that might topple the highly fragile discussions, according to a US official.

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In a phone call on Wednesday, the US president told the Israeli prime minister that he expected “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire”.

The White House said that in a phone call on Wednesday: “The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States.

“The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.”

The Israeli military has also privately conceded that it is nearing the completion of its objectives, US and foreign officials said.

Meanwhile, Hamas officials told CNN on Wednesday that a truce could be “imminent, possibly within 24 hours”.

Another senior Hamas official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV: “I think that the ongoing efforts regarding the ceasefire will succeed.

“I expect a ceasefire to be reached within a day or two, and the ceasefire will be on the basis of mutual agreement.”

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