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Israel and Hamas could reach cease-fire as soon as Friday, Dow Jones says

Israel's Iron Dome air defense system intercepts rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, May 10, 2021. (YouTube screenshot)

Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas could reach a cease-fire agreement as early as Friday, Dow Jones reported, citing people involved in the talks.

The Biden administration anticipates that a cease-fire could come this week, barring any unforeseen clashes, a U.S. official told Dow Jones. There is a mechanism in place for a cease-fire and the only issue is timing, the official said, according to the report. The White House declined to comment to Dow Jones.

Egypt has proposed several options to Hamas’ political leader Ismail Haniyeh to help stop the fighting, a senior Egyptian intelligence official told Dow Jones. One option is for a cease-fire with no conditions, the other is for a temporary halt to the fighting while a long-term deal is negotiated.

Pressure on Israel to stop the fighting has intensified from the U.S. and other nations. President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call Wednesday that “ he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire.”

The Israeli military has privately conceded that it is nearing the completion of its objectives, according to Dow Jones. Netanyahu said in a statement after his call with Biden that he is “determined to continue this operation until its goal is achieved.”

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