Israel, Hamas agree to extend cease-fire under pressure from Biden

November 27, 2023

Under pressure from the Biden administration, Israel reached an agreement with Hamas to extend a cease-fire as the four-day pause in fighting was about to end.

Just a day earlier, Biden had expressed hope that the cease-fire would continue so more hostages could be released.

"The deal calls for every 10 hostages released to extend another day. So I'm hopeful this is not the end. That it's going to continue, but we don't know," Biden said.

Cease-fire extended

Biden initially opposed calls for a cease-fire, but he changed course as Israel's military response in Gaza started to face criticism.

There was a break-through on Friday when the parties agreed to a four-day pause in the fighting orchestrated by the Biden administration and Qatar, which has connections with Hamas.

The terror group, which runs Gaza, began releasing some hostages over the weekend in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. 58 hostages have been set free by Hamas, including 39 Israelis and several Thai nationals.

Biden did not hesitate to take credit during remarks Sunday, hailing the release of four-year-old Avigail Edan, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen.

"This deal is delivering life-saving results. Critically needed aid is going in, and hostages are coming out. And there's still a structure so that it can be extended to keep building on these results. That's my goal. That's our goal," he said.

The little girl is the first American set free since the truce began - and also reportedly a relative of a Biden donor who purchased Hunter Biden's art.

Israel vows to finish the fight

The deadly war began when Hamas raided southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking 240 captives. Thousands of Palestinians have since died in Israel's operation to wipe out Hamas.

Demands for a cease-fire have become a rallying cry among U.S. progressives, many of whom have expressed disapproval of Biden's handling of the conflict.

Biden spoke Sunday with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said Israel would finish its fight with Hamas once the cease-fire has ended.

"At the end of the deal, we are returning full power to carry out our aims: destroy Hamas, ensure that Gaza won’t return to what it was and of course to free all of our hostages," he said.

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