Friday, June 21, 2024

Biden: Israel offered proposal to ensure enduring cessation of Gaza war

US President Joe Biden says that Israel has offered a new "comprehensive proposal with a roadmap" that would lead to an enduring cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip as well as the release of all Hamas-held hostages.

“Israel has offered a comprehensive new proposal, it’s a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” Biden said during a press conference on Friday.

“This proposal has been transmitted by Qatar to Hamas … this new proposal has three phases.”

Biden explained that the first phase would last for six weeks and include a temporary ceasefire, full withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, and the release of a number of hostages from both sides.

The second phase, Biden stated, would be a negotiated permanent end to all hostilities in the conflict, and it could include the release of all remaining hostages and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza if Israel’s security guarantees are satisfied.

The third phase would be the commencement of a major reconstruction plan for Gaza, Biden added, which would also include aid from international partners to do so.

The United States, Egypt and Qatar are expected to play key roles in trying to keep this initiative alive, Biden noted.

The United States will work with international partners to rebuild homes, schools and hospitals destroyed during the war in Gaza if a ceasefire is reached between Israel and Hamas, the president added.

“The United States will work with our partners to rebuild homes, schools and hospitals in Gaza to help repair communities that were destroyed in the chaos of war,” he told the press conference.

“The United States will also help ensure that Israel lives up to its obligations under the new proposed three-phase deal on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and hostages release.”

“If Hamas fails to fulfill its commitments under the deal, Israel can resume military operations, but Egypt and Qatar have assured me and they are continuing to work to ensure that Hamas doesn’t do that. The United States will help ensure that Israel lives up to their obligations as well,” Biden said.

The POTUS mentioned that he urged the Israeli leadership to stand behind the new proposed ceasefire deal despite pressure from those in Israel who disagree with it.

“I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan and will call for the war to continue indefinitely, some are even in the government coalition, and they’ve made it clear they want to occupy Gaza. They want to keep fighting for years, and the hostages are not a priority to them. Well, I’ve urged the leadership in Israel to stand behind this deal despite whatever pressure comes,” he noted.

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