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Biden says no Gaza ceasefire deal soon, as mediators work to bridge gaps

The US President made his comments at the G7 summit in Italy.

US President Joe Biden participates in a working session with world leaders during a G7 summit at Borgo Egnazia, Italy

US President Joe Biden has said he does not expect to reach a ceasefire deal for Gaza in the near future, as an American-backed proposal with global support has not been fully embraced by Israel or Hamas.

Mr Biden said international leaders had discussed the ceasefire at the G7 summit in Italy, but when asked by reporters if a truce deal wound be reached soon, he replied “no”, adding “I haven’t lost hope”.

Earlier on Thursday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan pushed back against assertions that Israel was not fully committed to the ceasefire plan.

G7 leaders line up for a photo at the summit
US President Joe Biden, centre right, was attending the G7 summit in Borgo Egnazia, Italy (Alex Brandon/AP)

“Israel has supplied this proposal. It has been sitting on the table for some time. Israel has not contradicted or walked that back,” Mr Sullivan said.

Hamas has responded to the plan by offering amendments, and Mr Sullivan said the goal was “to figure out how we work to bridge the remaining gaps and get to a deal”.

Hamas says the requested changes aim to guarantee a permanent ceasefire and complete Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza.

The ceasefire proposal announced by Mr Biden includes these provisions, but Hamas has expressed wariness about whether Israel would implement the terms.

A column of Israeli military vehicles leave the Gaza Strip
Israel launched its war after Hamas’s October 7 attack (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 37,100 people, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Palestinians are facing widespread hunger because the war has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies.

UN agencies say more than one million people in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by mid-July.

Israel launched its war after Hamas’s October 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducting about 250.

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