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Biden Reveals Israeli Ceasefire Proposal to End War on Gaza

June 1, 2024
US President Joe Biden during a visit to Israel in October 2023.
US President Joe Biden during a visit to Israel in October 2023. Photo credit: CNN

In a surprise press conference, US President Joe Biden revealed and endorsed a new Israeli proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, describing it as “a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages.”

Addressing the press, Biden emphasized that “it’s time to end this war,” calling for immediate action from all parties involved.

The proposal, presented to Hamas via Qatar, outlines a comprehensive plan to achieve a lasting ceasefire and facilitate humanitarian aid. Biden detailed the three-phase plan, which starts with a six-week ceasefire. This initial phase includes a complete cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza, and the release of some captives in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Humanitarian aid would also increase, said Biden, with 600 trucks entering Gaza daily and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of tents by the international community.

The second phase of the proposal includes the exchange of all remaining living hostages and a full withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from Gaza. The third phase involves a major reconstruction plan for Gaza and the return of any remains of captives.

Biden urged Hamas to accept the deal, framing it as an opportunity to demonstrate Hamas’ commitment to peace. Biden highlighted that Israel’s proposal includes a permanent cessation of hostilities, addressing one of Hamas’ key demands in previous negotiations led by Egypt.

Hamas has responded positively to Biden’s remarks and the proposed truce. In a statement, Hamas expressed readiness to “engage positively and constructively with any proposal” based on a permanent ceasefire. Hamas highlighted the importance of returning displaced individuals to their homes and completing a prisoner exchange if Israel commits to these terms explicitly.

Despite being an “Israeli” proposal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, maintained a firm stance, stating that the war will not end until Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities are eliminated.

“The prime minister authorized the negotiating team to present an outline for achieving this goal, while insisting the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

Biden’s call for action has already garnered international support. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, backed the proposal and said “the war has to end now”. Germany and the United Kingdom also released statements expressing support for the ceasefire proposal.

The proposal comes in the wake of recent escalations, including Israeli strikes in Rafah that resulted in significant civilian casualties. International condemnation has been widespread, with calls for immediate cessation of hostilities to prevent further loss of life.

Since 7 October, over 35,000 people – many of them children and women – have been reported killed in the seven-month-long conflict, according to the latest data reported by WAFA Agency. An additional 79,000 were injured with many more trapped under rubble caused by Israeli airstrikes.

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