Biden Walks Back Prediction That a Gaza Ceasefire Will Be Reached By Monday

Netanyahu again called Hamas's demands 'delusional,' signaling a hostage deal is not close

President Biden on Thursday walked back a prediction he made earlier this week that a ceasefire in Gaza could be reached by Monday as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Hamas’s demands “delusional,” signaling a hostage deal is not close.

“Hope springs eternal,” Biden told reporters when asked if he still thought a ceasefire by Monday was possible. “I was on the telephone with the people in the region.  I’m still — probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful.”

When Biden first predicted a ceasefire by Monday, both Hamas and Israeli officials said he spoke too soon. Hamas officials have said the main gap between the two sides is that they want a permanent ceasefire, while Israel and the US only want to pause the slaughter of Palestinians.

In Tel Aviv on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed all the blame for the lack of a deal on Hamas. “We face a brick wall of delusional, unrealistic Hamas demands,” Netanyahu said, adding that Hamas “knows its demands are delusional and is not even trying to move close to an area of agreement. That’s the situation.”

The deal that’s on the table would involve Hamas releasing 40 Israeli hostages in exchange for a six-week ceasefire and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. According to The Times of Israel, both Israeli and Hamas representatives are discussing the potential deal with Qatari officials in Doha, and Qatar has said there have been no breakthroughs.

Earlier this week, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu was complicating negotiations by adding an additional demand to have the Palestinian prisoners deported to another country and for his vow that after any ceasefire, Israel would resume its brutal operations in Gaza and invade Rafah, which is packed with 1.5 million Palestinians.

Palestinian children have started starving to death in the Gaza Strip, and UN officials and famine experts are warning that if conditions don’t change on the ground, mass starvation will happen soon. Over 100 Palestinians were killed in northern Gaza on Thursday when Israeli forces fired on a crowd gathered around an aid convoy.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.