Biden describes Israel’s proposed three-phase hostage-taking, cease-fire deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden Israel on Friday outlined a proposed three-phase deal for Hamas militants that it says would lead to the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza and end the nearly 8-month-old grind. Middle East War.

Biden said Hamas “can no longer afford” to launch another large-scale attack on Israel as Hamas insisted on reaching an agreement to free the Israelis and Hamas. The remaining hostages For an extended ceasefire.

In remarks from the White House, the Democratic president called the plan “a road map to a lasting ceasefire and the release of all hostages.”

Biden said the first phase of the proposed deal would last six weeks and would include a “total and complete cease-fire,” the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza and the release of several hostages. Women, the elderly and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

By AP Washington Correspondent Sagar Meghani, President Biden releases details on Israeli proposal for Gaza hostage release and cease-fire.

At this point the American hostages will be released, and the remains of the slain hostages will be returned to their families. Humanitarian aid will increase during the first phase, with 600 trucks allowed into Gaza each day.

The second phase involved the release of all remaining hostages, including male soldiers, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

“And until Hamas complies with its commitments, the temporary cease-fire will become, in the words of the Israeli proposal, a ‘permanent cessation of hostilities,'” Biden said.

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The third phase calls for a major reconstruction of Gaza, which faces decades of rebuilding from the devastation of war. The 4-1/2-page Israeli proposal was sent to Hamas on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday Netanyahu to do Provide an address In the US capital. Speaker’s call Mike JohnsonRepublican Party and Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerA Democrat, has been in works For some time, there has been great concern, particularly among Democrats, about Israel’s pursuit of war.

No date has been set for the speech.

Biden acknowledged that keeping the Israeli proposal on track would be difficult, saying there were many “details to negotiate” to move from phase one to phase two.

One roadblock to overcome during the first phase will involve the two sides agreeing on the ratio of prisoners and hostages to be released during the next phase, said a senior Biden administration official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

Biden’s comments came as the Israeli military confirmed that its forces are now operating in the central areas of Rafah in an expanding offensive in southern Gaza City. Biden called it “really a defining moment.” He said Hamas wanted a cease-fire and that the Israeli-brokered deal was an opportunity to demonstrate “if they really mean it.”

But even as Biden pressed for “the war to end and start the next day,” Israeli officials have made it clear they are committed to a military defeat of Hamas. The Democratic Party is in the midst of a fierce re-election battle and has faced a backlash from some on the political left who want to see more pressure on Netanyahu’s government to end the war.

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Netanyahu’s office said in a statement following Biden’s speech that he had authorized Israel’s hostage negotiation team to find a way to free the remaining hostages.

But the Israelis say “the war will not end until all of our objectives are achieved, including the removal of Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities.” The Prime Minister’s Office also called for the “correct outline” proposed by Israel to be followed.

Matt Tuss, executive vice president of the Center for International Policy in Washington, said Netanyahu’s reaction suggested “the possibility of daylight between the proposal Israel would accept and the one outlined by President Biden.”

Hamas said in a statement that it viewed the plan presented by Biden as “positive” and called on the Israelis to declare an open commitment to the deal, which includes a permanent ceasefire, the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, a prisoner exchange and other conditions.

Israel faced growth International Review For the planned destruction strategy in Gaza A huge cost in public life. Israeli bombing and ground attacks in the besieged territory have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians. According to Gaza’s Ministry of HealthIt does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Biden also spoke to people opposed to ending the war in Israel. Some members of Netanyahu’s far-right coalition oppose any deal short of eliminating Hamas and have called for a prolonged occupation of Gaza.

“They want to fight for years, hostages are not a priority for them,” Biden said. “I urged Israel’s leadership to stand behind this agreement.”

Biden made no mention of establishing a Palestinian state in his remarks, which he has repeatedly said is key to achieving long-term peace in the region. The US administration is also working on fake Default between Israel and Saudi Arabia The two great powers of the region. But Saudi opposes any deal that does not include concrete steps to create a Palestinian state.

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Following this, Israel launched a war on Gaza Hamas’s October 7 attack In which the militants entered southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and kidnapping around 250. Israel says about 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, along with the bodies of 30 others.

Ceasefire talks stalled earlier in the month after a major push by the United States and other mediators to secure a deal in hopes of halting an Israeli invasion of the southern city of Rafah.

The talks have stalled over a central point: Hamas is demanding guarantees that the war will end and Israeli troops withdraw completely from Gaza in exchange for the release of all hostages, a demand Israel rejects.

According to a Biden administration official, the new Israeli proposal is “almost identical to Hamas’s own proposals of just a few weeks ago”.

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Associated Press writer Abby Sewell in Beirut contributed to this report.

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