Friday, June 14, 2024

Hamas positive to comprehensive ceasefire proposal from Israel

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President Joe Biden announced on Friday that Israel has submitted a new proposal for a ceasefire and the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 01.06.2024 00:23:04

Policy: The plan is referred to by Biden as a road map towards permanent peace. The first phase will last six weeks and include the following:

– A full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly and the wounded, in exchange for the release of several hundred Palestinian prisoners, Biden said in a speech in the white house friday.

A short time later, Israel confirmed that its negotiators have been given the authority to present a new proposal.

At the same time, the Israeli government reiterated that the Gaza war will not end until Hamas’s military and governance capacities are destroyed.

– This is very important and seems to be what we have been asking for for a long time. That the US and Joe Biden really want to put pressure on their close ally Israel to end this war. Only the US can do that, says professor and Middle East expert Hilde Henriksen Waage Television 2.

Hamas is signaling a change of attitude, after it has recently accused the US of taking Israel’s side and preventing attempts at a ceasefire.

– Hamas now sees Biden’s position as more focused on pressuring Israel into negotiations with a different attitude, and Israel may be in danger of falling out with the Americans, says a Palestinian official close to the mediation attempt to the Reuters news agency.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has had telephone conversations with his colleagues in Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia about the proposal, the US State Department says.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is happy about what she describes as a realistic ceasefire proposal.

– I wholeheartedly support Biden in that the latest proposal is a significant opportunity to move towards an end to the war and the civilian suffering in Gaza, she says.

– This is really a defining moment, said Biden.

– Israel has come up with its proposal. Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to show if they really mean it.

NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland hopes that this will be the end of the war.

– We can hope that both parties accept a ceasefire, hostage and prisoner releases and the withdrawal of forces, says Egeland to TV 2.

President Biden added that the agreement could lead to Israel becoming more integrated in the region, including in relations with Saudi Arabia.

In addition, the agreement allows for better self-determination for the Palestinian people.

Previous attempts at negotiations to end the war in the Gaza Strip have not led. Hamas has insisted on a full Israeli withdrawal, while Israel has reiterated that its goal is to crush Hamas.

A comprehensive plan for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip will then be presented in phase three.

Furthermore, the president says that Hamas is no longer able to carry out another major attack on Israel, such as in October last year. Both Egypt and Qatar are doing their part to ensure that Hamas does not resume its military operations against Israel, according to Biden.

In a statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it is confirmed that the new proposal includes various stages. Furthermore, it states that this will ensure that Israel’s goals are achieved.

The health authorities in Gaza say that 36,284 Palestinians have been killed since October last year. Hamas killed around 1,200 Israelis on October 7. An estimated 250 Israelis were taken hostage. Half have since been released. It is unclear how many are still alive.

In a statement, Hamas describes the ceasefire proposal that Israel has put forward as positive. Among other things, they aim for “a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, reconstruction and exchange of prisoners”, the movement states.

In his speech, Biden strongly urged Hamas to accept the proposal. He did not deny that there may be different opinions, but said that there must be a solution to them.

The proposal that has now been put forward is intended to be carried out in three phases, according to Biden. In phase two, the parties will negotiate further, hostages will be released and Israeli forces will be withdrawn.

(© NTB)

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