World News

Biden says Israel has agreed to ‘enduring’ Gaza ceasefire proposal | Joe Biden News

Israel has agreed to a proposal that would lead to a “lasting” ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, US President Joe Biden has announced, as he faces growing pressure and criticism over his support for the Israeli war effort.

At a White House news conference Friday afternoon, Biden said Israel had presented “a new comprehensive proposal” to end the war.

“This is a road map to a lasting ceasefire,” the US president told reporters.

Biden said the proposal has three phases, the first of which would last six weeks and include a full and complete ceasefire, as well as the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza.

The first phase would also see a number of captives held in the Gaza Strip – including women and the elderly – released in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, while humanitarian aid would flow into Gaza.

“There are American hostages that would be released at this point and we want them to come home,” Biden said, adding that Qatar had forwarded the proposal to the Palestinian group Hamas, which governs Gaza.

Hamas did not immediately comment on Biden’s remarks Friday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that Netanyahu had authorized the country’s negotiating team “to present a plan to achieve” the war’s goals, Israeli media outlet Haaretz reported.

“The war will only end when all of its objectives are achieved, including the return of our hostages and the neutralization of Hamas’ military and governance capabilities,” the statement said, according to Haaretz.

“The specific plan proposed by Israel, including the phased transition, allows Israel to adhere to these principles. »

Pressure on Biden

Biden’s announcement comes as efforts to achieve a ceasefire have failed due to the Israeli army’s advance in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, which forced the displacement of approximately one million Palestinians in the past month.

Deadly Israeli attacks on Rafah have killed dozens of Palestinians and fueled global outrage. More than 36,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli bombardments on Gaza since the war began in early October.

The coastal enclave is also under siege by Israel, which has led to severe shortages of food, water and other humanitarian supplies, and triggered famine warnings.

As the crisis in Gaza deepens, Biden has faced widespread protests and criticism for his unwavering military and diplomatic support for Israel during the war.

Despite growing anger over the Israeli offensive – including recent deadly attacks on Rafah – and warnings that he risks losing re-election because of his stance, the US president’s policies have remained largely unchanged.

A new poll released this week indicated that Biden had less than 20% support among Arab Americans, a key constituency in several swing states in the United States that could decide the next vote.

Biden is expected to face his Republican predecessor Donald Trump on November 5 in what is expected to be a close contest.

Palestinians flee with their belongings as smoke rises in the Tal as-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, southern Gaza, on May 30 (Eyad Baba/AFP)

A prolonged Israeli war in Gaza – which could last at least another seven months, according to Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi – would harm Biden’s re-election prospects, experts said.

“The signs are clear. The writing is on the wall,” Josh Ruebner, a senior lecturer at Georgetown University’s Justice and Peace program, told Al Jazeera this week.

“And if Biden decides to maintain this constant support for Israel for another seven months, it will not only kill tens of thousands more Palestinians, but it will also lose him the election. »

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Friday, Palestinian political analyst Nour Odeh said the proposal does not appear to be different “in any fundamental way” from those that have been presented previously.

What’s striking, however, is that Biden “put himself in harm’s way,” Odeh said.

“He said the United States would guarantee that Israel would uphold its end of the bargain as long as the mediators were able to get Hamas to accept the deal and uphold its end of the bargain,” she said.

“This is the first time we’ve heard the president of the United States, Israel’s most important ally, say: ‘This deal is on the table, it’s good and everyone should accept it.’ And I think it will undoubtedly be difficult for Hamas to resist the type of pressure that will be put on it.”

On May 6, Hamas said it had accepted a ceasefire proposal from Egypt and Qatar that appears to be almost identical to the one Biden announced on Friday. Israeli leaders rejected this initiative.

Next phases

In his speech from the White House, Biden said the second phase of the ceasefire proposal would see the release of “all remaining hostages” in Gaza, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory and a “final cessation hostilities”.

“Now, I’ll be frank with you, there are a number of details to negotiate to move from phase one to phase two,” he said.

“But the proposal says that if negotiations last more than six weeks from the first phase, the ceasefire will continue as long as negotiations continue.”

The United States, alongside Qatar and Egypt, will work to continue these negotiations, Biden added.

Finally, a plan to rebuild Gaza would begin in phase three of the proposal and the remains of all slain captives would be returned to their families.

While Biden said Israel had agreed to the plan, he noted that some Israelis — including members of Netanyahu’s coalition government — would disagree with the proposal and call for a continuation of the war.

“They have been clear: they want to occupy Gaza. They want to continue fighting for years. The hostages are not a priority for them. Well, I urge Israeli leaders to support this deal despite the pressure,” Biden said.

News Source :
Gn world

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
Back to top button