Israel and Hamas Near Cease-Fire Amid Mounting Pressure
According to those involved in discussions between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a cease-fire between the two fighting entities could come as early as Friday amid mounting international pressure. Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden stated that he supports a cease-fire between the groups, seeking to bring an end to incessant airstrikes and rocket fire that have resulted in a rising number of civilian casualties, especially on the Palestinian side. Egyptian officials have allegedly made headway in negotiations with Hamas leadership, and the Israeli military has conceded that it is nearing completion of its objectives, which included destroying Hamas infrastructure across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The US, Egypt, Qatar, and other European nations have been working to pressure both the Israeli Prime Minister and Hamas leaders to end the fighting amid dire conditions in Gaza, including lack of power and resources. US officials state that the only issue blocking a cease-fire is timing, noting that members of another militant group called the Palestinian Islamic Jihad remain a wild card. There are other concerns that the group might provoke the situation after a cease-fire is reached. The White House has not commented on the threat.