June 23, 2024

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Situation in Gaza, news and more

Situation in Gaza, news and more

Biden announced that Israel had presented a “new, comprehensive proposal” for a ceasefire in Gaza

Biden campaign judging Trump

US President Joe Biden looks on during a campaign rally at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 29, 2024. (Credit: Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz)

US President Joe Biden announced on Friday that Israel has offered a “comprehensive new proposal” that provides a “roadmap” for a ceasefire in the war with Hamas in Gaza and the release of all hostages held by the movement.

He said that Qatar had conveyed the proposal to Hamas and that the first phase would last six weeks and include “a comprehensive and complete ceasefire with the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas in Gaza” and “the release of a number of hostages.” Among them are women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

A diplomatic source familiar with the negotiations said on Tuesday that Israel presented the mediators with new ideas regarding hostage talks and a ceasefire this week, without going into details about what the new ideas were.

Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas to secure the release of the hostages stopped three weeks ago without reaching an agreement, after the two parties were unable to agree on some conditions.

Hamas said on Thursday that it had informed the mediators that it was “ready to reach a comprehensive agreement” that includes a full agreement to exchange hostages and prisoners if Israel stops its war in Gaza.

A statement by the group said that it showed “flexibility and positivity in dealing with the efforts of the mediators in all previous rounds of indirect negotiations.” Hamas said that Israel used the months of ongoing talks as a cover to continue its war in Gaza.

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The Hamas statement said, “Hamas and the Palestinian factions will not accept to be part of the policy of continued negotiations in the face of aggression, killing, siege, starvation, and genocide of our people.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly insisted that the war must continue until Hamas is completely destroyed.

The president, who returned to the White House from his beach home in Delaware early in the morning, avoided commenting on the situation in Israel for several days.

Earlier on Friday, Israel said its forces had entered the center of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which Biden warned should not be the target of a major ground attack.

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