Israel’s Position On Ceasefire Deal Is Unclear

( – President Joe Biden announced a framework to end the ongoing conflict in Gaza, a move hailed as a significant step toward peace. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aide, Ophir Falk, expressed mixed feelings, calling it “not a good deal” despite Israel’s agreement to the proposal.

Biden’s Peace Plan: Key Components
Biden outlined a three-part plan, including a complete cease-fire, the release of all hostages, and significant reconstruction efforts in Gaza. He emphasized, “It’s time for this war to end,” underscoring the urgency of resolving the conflict that has gripped the region for months.

Israeli Ambiguity and Domestic Tensions
The plan’s reception in Israel is complex. While Biden framed it as an Israeli proposal, official statements from Netanyahu’s office remain unclear. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby reiterated that the plan was developed through intense diplomacy involving Israel and the U.S. State Department.

Despite this, Netanyahu cast doubt on the plan, insisting that Israel’s conditions for ending the war—destroying Hamas’s military capabilities, freeing all hostages, and ensuring Gaza poses no threat—remain unchanged. Falk echoed this sentiment, acknowledging the deal but stressing it was not ideal.

Far-Right Opposition and Internal Strife
Far-right factions within Netanyahu’s cabinet vehemently opposed Biden’s plan. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir both threatened to withdraw from the government if the plan, which they see as a capitulation to terrorism, moves forward.

International and Opposition Support
Despite internal opposition, international support for Biden’s plan is robust. European nations, including Spain, France, Germany, and Belgium, have backed the proposal. Additionally, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been in contact with Arab leaders, reinforcing their commitment to a cease-fire.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid also supports the deal, criticizing the far-right ministers for neglecting national security and the hostages. He urged Netanyahu to accept the plan, offering political support if the coalition dissolves over this issue.

Hamas’s Tentative Approval
In a surprising turn, a Hamas spokesperson responded positively to Biden’s speech, adding a layer of complexity to the already intricate negotiations.

Phased Implementation
The plan’s implementation includes several phases: a six-week cease-fire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas, the release of women and children hostages, followed by all hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, and finally, significant reconstruction efforts in Gaza.

Growing Public Pressure
Public sentiment in Israel is increasingly in favor of the cease-fire. Tens of thousands gathered in Tel Aviv, and the Hostages and Missing Families Forum plans to demonstrate in Jerusalem, pushing for the plan’s immediate implementation.

As international and domestic pressures mount, the path to peace remains fraught with challenges, but Biden’s proposal represents a pivotal moment in the quest to end the Gaza conflict.