Home west asia Biden Lays Out Three-Phase Peace Proposal, Hamas Responds Positively

Biden Lays Out Three-Phase Peace Proposal, Hamas Responds Positively

Biden,Hamas, Gaza, peace proposal
Palestinian members of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) gather around the bodies of their two fellow paramedics, who according to medics, were killed when an ambulance on a mission to rescue people was hit in an Israeli strike, during their funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Hatem Khaled

President Joe Biden laid out a three-phase Israeli proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza in return for the release of Israeli hostages. He said that it was “time for this war to end.”

Biden has won a positive initial reaction from Hamas.

Biden’s peace plan for Gaza

The first phase involves a six-week ceasefire when Israeli forces would withdraw from “all populated areas” of Gaza. Some hostages – including the elderly and women – would be freed in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Palestinian civilians could then return to their homes in Gaza. After this, 600 trucks a day would bring humanitarian aid into the enclave.

In this phase, Hamas and Israel would negotiate a permanent ceasefire. If negotiations took more than six weeks, the temporary ceasefire would extend while they continued.

In the second phase, Biden said there would be an exchange for all remaining living hostages. Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza and the permanent ceasefire would begin.

The third phase would include a major reconstruction plan for Gaza. This would then be accompanied by the return of the “final remains” of hostages to their families.

Biden said, “it’s time for this war to end.”

Positive repsonse from Hamas

Hamas said it was ready to engage “positively and in a constructive manner” with any proposal based on a permanent ceasefire. This will also include the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the reconstruction of Gaza, a return of those displaced, and a “genuine” prisoner swap deal.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he had authorized his negotiating team to present the deal. However, he insisted the war will not end “until all of its (Israel’s goals are achieved.” This included the return of all our hostages and the destruction of Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities.

Biden calls for the war to end

Biden called on the Israeli leadership to resist pressure from those in Israel who were pushing for the war to go on “indefinitely.” He said the group included some in the Israeli governing coalition.

He implored Israelis not to miss the chance for a ceasefire.

“As the only American president who has ever gone to Israel at a time of war, as someone who just sent the US forces to directly defend Israel when it was attacked by Iran, I ask you to take a step back, think what will happen if this moment is lost.”

“We can’t lose this moment.”


With inputs from Reuters