A new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could start as soon as Monday, US President Joe Biden has said, in a deal that could include the exchange of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for several hundred Palestinian detainees, AFP reports.

A deal could include the release of several hundred Palestinian detainees held by Israel, media reports suggest.

“My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire,” said Biden on Monday, when asked when an agreement could start, adding that “we’re close, we’re not done yet”.

An unnamed Israeli official told news site Ynet the “direction is positive”.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stressed any truce deal would delay, not prevent, a ground invasion of Rafah in the far south of the Gaza Strip, which he said was necessary to achieve “total victory” over Hamas.

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