Monday, June 17, 2024

Netanyahu says war will go on after Biden announcement of Gaza ceasefire proposal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office has reiterated his intention to continue the offensive in the Gaza Strip until "all of Tel Aviv's war goals are achieved." 36,300 Palestinians have been so far killed in the war.

The statement came on the heels of US President Joe Biden announcing a fresh cease-fire proposal that he said Israel greenlighted, urging Palestinian group Hamas to accept it.

Netanyahu’s office said, “the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved, including the return of all our hostages and the elimination of Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities.”

However it added that Netanyahu had authorized Israel’s negotiating team to “present an outline for achieving this goal,” in reference to the hostages’ release.

“The exact outline proposed by Israel, including the conditional transition from stage to stage, allows Israel to maintain these principles,” the statement concluded.

The proposal, announced by Biden, extends over three phases, the first spanning six weeks and including a full cease-fire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza, and the exchange of prisoners.

Israel has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians in Gaza since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023 which claimed 1,200 lives and around 250 were taken as hostages. As many as 105 captives were released as part of a brief truce in November in exchange of 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Around 125 people remain held captive, with many of them believed to be dead due to Israeli airstrikes.

Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, mediated by the US, Qatar and Egypt, have so far failed to agree on a permanent cease-fire.

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