US President Joe Biden
US President Joe BidenREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

US President Joe Biden on Friday called for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza that will allow for the release of hostages still being held by the terrorist organization.

"I've had extensive conversations with Prime Minister of Israel over the last seven days, almost an hour each, and I've made the case, and I feel very strongly about it, that there has to be a temporary ceasefire to get the prisoners out, to get the hostages out, and that is underway. I’m still hopeful that can be done," he told reporters in the White House.

“In the meantime, I don’t anticipate, I’m hoping that the Israelis will not make any massive land invasion,” the President added. “It is my expectation that’s not going to happen.”

“There has to be a ceasefire temporarily to get those hostages out. We’re in a situation where there are American hostages… It’s not just Israelis,” stated Biden.

“My hope and expectation is that we’ll get this hostage deal, we’ll bring the Americans home. The deal is being negotiated now, and we’re going to see where it takes us,” he said.

Biden’s comments follow his conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night.

The White House said in a readout following the conversation, “The President and the Prime Minister discussed ongoing hostage negotiations. The President reaffirmed his commitment to working tirelessly to support the release of all hostages as soon as possible, recognizing their appalling situation after 132 days in Hamas captivity.”

“The President and the Prime Minister also discussed the situation in Gaza, and the urgency of ensuring that humanitarian assistance is able to get to Palestinian civilians in desperate need,” the statement said.

“The President also raised the situation in Rafah, and reiterated his view that a military operation should not proceed without a credible and executable plan for ensuring the safety of and support for the civilians in Rafah,” it concluded.

Israel earlier this week sent a high-ranking delegation to talks in Cairo on a hostage release deal. A US official later said that that the talks were productive and serious, but did not yet arrive at a breakthrough that would result in a final deal.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu decided not to send back the Israeli delegation to Cairo.

Netanyahu said, "This week we freed two of our hostages in a careful military operation. So far we have freed 112 of our hostages with a combination of strong military pressure and firm negotiations. This is also the key to the release of the rest of our hostages: strong military pressure and very firm negotiations."

"I insist that Hamas drop their delusional demands - and when they drop these demands we can move forward," he added.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)