Israel Accepts US Gaza Plan Despite Reservations

News Desk3 weeks ago

Ophir Falk, Netanyahu’s top foreign policy advisor, stated in an interview with the British Sunday Times that Biden’s plan was “a deal we agreed to—it’s not a good deal but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them.”

He stated that “there are many details to be worked out” and that “the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organization” are still Israeli demands.

After initially supporting Israel’s onslaught without question, Biden publicly criticized the operation for the high number of civilian casualties. On Friday, he presented a three-phase plan for ending the conflict that the Netanyahu government had proposed.

The parties would then negotiate an open-ended suspension of hostilities for a second phase in which the remaining living captives would be released. The first phase comprises a truce and the return of certain hostages held by Hamas, according to Biden.

That order seems to suggest that Hamas would stay involved in incremental agreements facilitated by Qatar and Egypt, which could conflict with Israel’s intention to carry out the effort to destroy them.

Over the previous few months, Biden has praised multiple ceasefire offers, all of which had foundations that were similar to the one he presented on Friday but ultimately failed. He claimed in February that Israel had committed to ending hostilities by the start of Ramadan, which started on March 10. Such a truce never came to pass.

The main source of contention has been Israel’s position that it will only talk about short-term ceasefires until Hamas is eliminated. With no intention of relenting, Hamas declares that it will only release captives in exchange for a clear route to the war’s ultimate termination.

Biden stated during his address that his most recent suggestion “creates a better ‘day after’ in Gaza without Hamas in power”. He recognized that “there are a number of details to negotiate to move from phase one to phase two,” but he did not go into detail on how this would be accomplished.

Falk restated Netanyahu’s stance, according to which “a permanent ceasefire will not occur until all of our goals are achieved.”

Netanyahu is facing pressure to maintain the status quo of his coalition administration. Two allies on the far right have threatened to walk away from any agreement that they believe will spare Hamas. Ex-general Benny Gantz, a centrist partner, wants the deal taken into consideration.

For the time being, Hamas has praised the Biden proposal.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Al Jazeera on Saturday, “We want this to materialize within the framework of a comprehensive agreement that meets our demands. Biden’s speech included positive ideas.”

Hamas demands the unconditional cessation of the Gaza offensive, the evacuation of all occupying forces, Palestinian freedom of movement, and reconstruction assistance.

Read more: UK Authorities Arrest 40 Individuals After Pro-Palestinian March

That has been condemned by Israeli officials as an actual return to the circumstances that existed before to October 7, when Hamas controlled Gaza and was determined to destroy Israel. According to Israeli accounts, its fighters broke through the border fence into Israel, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping over 250 more. This action started the war.

In the ensuing Israeli assault that has laid waste to much of the impoverished and besieged coastal enclave, more than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed, Gaza medical officials say. Israel claims that 290 of its soldiers have perished in the conflict.

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