Biden announces three-phase proposal by Israel for Gaza ceasefire News
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Biden announces three-phase proposal by Israel for Gaza ceasefire

US President Joe Biden announced on Friday the terms of a three-phase proposal by Israel for a ceasefire in Gaza, ensuring what he called a “long-standing peace for Palestinians and Israel.”

Biden said that the first phase includes a complete ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the populated areas in Gaza, the release of several hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, and the return of refugees to their homes. Additionally, an influx of humanitarian aid would commence, with 600 trucks delivering daily supplies.

The second phase would focus on negotiating a permanent end to hostilities, ensuring that the ceasefire remains in place as long as talks continue. This phase aims to secure the release of all hostages and provide a complete withdrawal of the Israeli forces. According to Biden, this is conditioned on Hamas accepting the terms.

The final phase involves a significant reconstruction effort in Gaza, supported by the international community, to rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals, ensuring that Hamas cannot re-arm.

Biden highlighted the broader implications of the deal, including potential normalization agreements between Israel and other Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, and the integration of Israel into a regional security network. He urged all parties to consider and embrace this opportunity for a lasting peace against what he called the perils of an indefinite conflict.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the notion of a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, insisting that the enduring conditions for ending the conflict must be satisfied first. This position contradicts the proposal that, according to Biden, came from Israel.

The proposal comes at a time when Netanyahu is facing growing pressure domestically, with families of the hostages spearheading protests urging the government to act, and far-right ministers inside his government threatening to break up the government if he accepts the terms.