Biden Announces Israel's Three-Step Ceasefire Roadmap with Hamas

US President Joe Biden announced that Israel has proposed a comprehensive three-phase roadmap to Hamas for an enduring ceasefire in Gaza. This plan involves a ceasefire, hostages' release, and Gaza's reconstruction. Biden urges acceptance of the deal to secure peace and stability in the region.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 01-06-2024 00:50 IST | Created: 01-06-2024 00:50 IST
Biden Announces Israel's Three-Step Ceasefire Roadmap with Hamas
Joe Biden
  • Country:
  • United States

US President Joe Biden on Friday announced that Israel has offered to Hamas, a three-step roadmap to enduring ceasefire in the region.

"Now after intensive diplomacy carried out by my team and my many conversations with leaders of Israel, Qatar, and Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, Israel has offered a comprehensive new proposal. It's a road map to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages," Biden told reporters at the White House.

"This proposal has been transmitted by Qatar to Hamas," he said, adding that this new proposal has three phases. The first phase that would last for six weeks includes a full and complete ceasefire, a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the populated areas of Gaza, release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, the wounded, in exchange for release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

"There are American hostages who would be released at this stage, and we want them home," he said, adding that Palestinian civilians would return to their homes and neighbourhoods in all areas of Gaza, including in the north. Humanitarian assistance would surge with 600 trucks carrying aid into Gaza every single day, he noted.

"This is truly a decisive moment. Israel has made their proposal. Hamas says it wants a ceasefire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it. Hamas needs to take the deal," Biden said.

During the six weeks of phase one, Israel and Hamas would negotiate the necessary arrangements to get to phase two, which is a permanent end to hostilities. "Now I'll be straight with you, there are a number of details to negotiate to move from phase one to phase two. Israel will want to make sure its interests are protected, but the proposal says if the negotiations take longer than six weeks for phase one, the ceasefire will still continue as long as negotiations continue," he said.

Phase two, Biden said, would be an exchange for the release of all the remaining living hostages, including male soldiers. Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza, and as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the Israeli proposal, the cessation of hostilities permanently. In phase three, a major reconstruction plan for Gaza would commence and any final remains of hostages who've been killed would be returned to their families, he said.

"That's the offer. That's now on the table and what we've been asking for. It's what we need. The people of Israel should know they can make this offer without any further risk to their own security because they've devastated Hamas from forces over the past eight months," he said.

Biden reiterated his commitment to the defence of Israel. "To the people of Israel, let me say this. As someone who has had a lifelong commitment to Israel, as the only American President who has ever gone to Israel in a time of war, as someone who just sent the US forces to directly defend Israel when it was attacked by Iran, I ask you to take a step back and think of what will happen if this moment is lost," he said.

"We can't lose this moment. Indefinite war and pursuit of an unidentified notion of total victory will not bring Israel and will only bog down Israel and Gaza, draining the economic, military, and human resources and furthering Israel's isolation in the world," said the US president.

The United States, he said, will help forge a diplomatic resolution, one that ensures Israel security and allows people to safely return to their homes without the fear of being attacked. With the deal of rebuilding of Gaza will begin Arab nations and the international community along with Palestinian and Israeli leaders to get it done in a manner that does not allow Hamas to rearm, he added.

The United States will work with its partners to rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza, to help repair communities that were destroyed in the chaos of war. With this deal, Israel could become more deeply integrated in the region, including a potential historic normalisation agreement with Saudi Arabia. "Israel could be part of a regional security network to counter the threat posed by Iran," Biden said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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