No questions please! Biden refuses to answer as he meets King of Jordan and says U.S. is working to negotiate Gaza truce of ‘at least six weeks’

President Joe Biden declined to answer questions Monday after his meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, but did say the two were working on a hostage deal to bring about a temporary ceasefire.

“The United States is working on a hostage agreement between Israel and Hamas, which will bring an immediate and sustained period of calm to Gaza for at least six weeks,” Biden said.

For his part, Abdullah called for a permanent ceasefire.

‘We need a lasting ceasefire now. This war must end,’ he said.

“The United States is working on a hostage agreement between Israel and Hamas, which will bring an immediate and sustained period of calm to Gaza for at least six weeks,” President Joe Biden said after meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II .

Biden’s refusal to speak to the press came after special counsel Robert Hur issued his report, which politically embarrasses the president as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a failing memory.”

When the report dropped Thursday, he delivered hastily scheduled remarks to lambast Hur for questioning his memory, including the death of his son Beau.

Biden answered one brief question earlier Monday when the king, Queen Rania and Crown Prince Hussein arrived at the White House, but he did not address additional questions about the fate of the hostages.

Abdullah and Biden seek to move the Israel-Hamas war into a new phase in which Israeli hostages are released and fighting stops for an extended period.

“The key elements of the deal are on the table,” Biden said. “There are gaps that remain, but I urged Israeli leaders to continue working to reach the agreement. The United States will do everything possible to make that happen.’

The king warned humanitarian disasters were brewing without a ceasefire and expressed concern about a possible Israeli military operation in the border town of Rafah.

‘We cannot afford an Israeli attack on Rafah; It will certainly produce another humanitarian disaster,’ he warned.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the military to prepare a plan to evacuate around 1.5 million Palestinian civilians who have fled to southern Rafah to seek safety to continue its operation against Hamas.

Netanyahu and Biden had a significant back-and-forth over the possible expansion of Israeli military operations into Rafah when the two men spoke on Sunday.

Biden reiterated American opposition to the idea under the “current conditions” while more than 1.3 million people are sheltering there.

Asked earlier Monday if Netanyahu would follow his advice, the president replied: ‘Everybody does.’

Jordan is one of many Middle East countries encouraging the White House to pressure Israel over its crackdown on Hamas.

In October, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority canceled a planned meeting with Biden less than 24 hours before it was scheduled to begin in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Jordan and other Arab states have been very critical of Israel’s actions.

For his part, Biden praised the work of the Jordanian king and his country for helping with the humanitarian crisis that the Palestinian people have developed as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.

Palestinians receive relief food supplies in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Palestinians receive relief food supplies in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian family on the beach at sunset near Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian family on the beach at sunset near Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip

President Joe Biden, center, and First Lady Jill Biden, second right, pose for a photo as they greet Jordan's King Abdullah II, second left, Queen Rania, right, and Crown Prince Hussein, left, in the North Portico of the White House.

President Joe Biden, center, and First Lady Jill Biden, second right, pose for a photo as they greet Jordan’s King Abdullah II, second left, Queen Rania, right, and Crown Prince Hussein, left, in the North Portico of the White House.

The Palestinian death toll from the war has exceeded 28,000 people, according to the health ministry in Gaza. A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving.

The war began with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, in which militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped around 250.

Israel says about 100 hostages remain in Hamas captivity, while Hamas holds the remains of about 30 others who were either killed on October 7 or died in captivity. Three hostages were mistakenly killed by the army after they escaped from their captors in December.

Biden’s meeting with King Abdullah also came a few weeks after three US service members were killed in an airstrike in Jordan.