Hamas Responds To Biden Israel Ceasefire Deal

(Cupventi.com) – On Tuesday, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, two prominent Palestinian factions, provided their response to the peace plan proposed by US President Joe Biden to end the ongoing eight-month-long war in Gaza. In their statement, the groups expressed their willingness to deal positively with the plan and emphasized the importance of prioritizing the interests of the Palestinian people. They also highlighted the necessity of completely ending the war and withdrawing Israeli forces from the entire Gaza Strip.

However, the response did not include specific details, and an official familiar with the negotiations mentioned that the reply contained “amendments” to the Israeli proposal. These amendments reportedly included a timeline for a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. The official also stated that Hamas’s response was “neither a yes nor a no,” and that the group was seeking assurances about a permanent ceasefire, which has been a point of contention between the two sides. Talks will continue through mediators in an attempt to reach a deal.

Qatar and Egypt, along with the United States, have been central to the efforts to broker a deal and confirmed that they had received a response from the Palestinian factions. They will continue their mediation efforts until an agreement is reached. John Kirby, US National Security Council spokesperson, confirmed that the White House had also received Hamas’s reply and was evaluating it at the time.

The response comes two weeks after President Biden unveiled his three-stage plan for ending the war, which has become the deadliest in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has led to a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. During a visit to Israel on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed journalists that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reaffirmed his commitment to the plan, which Biden presented as an Israeli proposal when it was unveiled.Despite Israeli officials admitting that the proposal has been accepted by the war cabinet, which has directed the country’s campaign in Gaza, the plan has faced backlash from far-right factions in the government.

Two ultranationalist parties have threatened to topple Netanyahu if he accepts the plan. An Israeli official reiterated that the country would not end the war until it had achieved all of its goals, which include the destruction of Hamas and the return of all hostages seized by the militant group in its October 7 attack, which triggered the conflict. However, the official added that “the outline that was presented allows Israel to meet these conditions and it will indeed do so.

“The plan set out by Biden, which was endorsed by the UN Security Council with 14 countries voting in favor and only Russia abstaining, outlines a three-step approach to ending the conflict. In the first stage, there would be an “immediate, full, and complete ceasefire,” during which some Israeli hostages would be freed in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. Israeli forces would also withdraw from the populated areas of Gaza, and there would be an influx of aid.

The second phase would lead “upon agreement of the parties” to a “permanent end to hostilities,” the return of all the remaining hostages, and the “full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.” The final stage would involve a multiyear reconstruction effort.