Biden and Netanyahu
Biden and NetanyahuHaim Zach/GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Thursday evening with US President Joe Biden, their second conversation this week.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that the conversation lasted about 40 minutes.

The conversation dealt with the negotiations towards a hostage release deal, the continuation of the fighting in Gaza and a possible Israeli operation in Rafah, and the US demand that humanitarian aid be allowed to enter the Gaza Strip.

Biden and Netanyahu previously spoke for about 45 minutes on Sunday. A senior administration official later told CNN that the two leaders discussed a deal to secure the release of hostages in Gaza at length.

The officials cautioned that while a framework is in place, gaps remain.

“There are certainly gaps that need to be closed. Some of them are significant, but there has been real progress over the last few weeks, and we are now seeking to do all we possibly can to capitalize on it,” the official said.

According to Ynet, the senior US official said that Biden is determined to bring about a hostage release deal and that, as far as he is concerned, "failure is not an option".

Thursday’s conversation followed a report in The Washington Post which said that the Biden administration, together with several Arab countries, is quickly advancing a plan for a timetable to create a Palestinian state the day after the war in Gaza ends.

According to the plan, which the Post called a "comprehensive plan for long-term peace between Israel and Palestinians," the timeline for the establishment of "Palestine" could be announced within the next several weeks.

The plan is being advanced quickly due to the proposed temporary cessation of fire suggested in the prisoner swap deals placed on the negotiations table.