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Gaza Ceasefire Negotiations: Will Israel and Hamas Consider the US Proposal?

Gaza Ceasefire Negotiations

The conflict between Israel and Gaza continues to escalate, with President Biden proposing a ceasefire deal that includes a partial Israeli troop withdrawal, the release of hostages, and a six-week truce. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that any transition to peace is conditional on Israel’s proposals while facing pressure from a divided right-wing coalition and domestic opposition.

Despite concerns for civilian safety, heavy fighting persists in Gaza, with Israeli forces targeting terrorist infrastructure. The UN reports a significant number of civilians fleeing the conflict, and discussions are ongoing between Israeli, American, and Egyptian officials on reopening the Rafah crossing to allow for aid delivery to Gaza.

Key Concepts

  • President Biden is calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  • Israeli Defense Minister Gallant rejects continued Hamas rule in Gaza.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces pressure from a divided coalition over a proposed deal.
  • Opposition leader Lapid supports President Biden’s ceasefire proposal.
  • President Herzog supports bringing hostages home while maintaining Israel’s security.
  • Hamas is willing to consider the deal but demands Israeli troop withdrawal and ceasefire first.
  • Heavy fighting continues in Gaza, with Israeli forces targeting terrorist infrastructure.
  • UN reports civilians fleeing the conflict in Gaza.
  • Israeli helicopters strike multiple areas in Gaza City, causing casualties.
  • Rafah crossing seizure by Israel hinders aid delivery to Gaza.
  • Discussions ongoing on reopening the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid.
  • Limited humanitarian aid reaching Gaza through Kerem Shalom crossing.
  • Hamas initiated a terrorist attack on Israel last year, resulting in casualties on both sides.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Sunday that the United States expects Israel to accept the Gaza ceasefire if Hamas accepts the plan.

“It’s an Israeli proposal,” Bryant told ABC’s “This Week.” “We fully expect that if Hamas agrees to a proposal, as it’s been communicated to them, an Israeli proposal, that Israel will say yes. “

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Peace brokers from Egypt, Qatar, and the United States called on both sides to accept a ceasefire and hostage release deal proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday that Israel will not accept Hamas’ continued rule of Gaza at any stage of the peace process and is considering alternatives to Hamas.

“We are conducting our important military operations at a time when defense agencies are simultaneously evaluating a governance alternative to Hamas,” Galante said in a statement.

“We will isolate areas (of Gaza), remove Hamas elements from those areas, and bring in forces that can form an alternative government, an alternative that threatens Hamas,” Galante said.

Israeli media reported that Israel’s war cabinet is expected to meet later today, and President Biden previously proposed the framework of a ceasefire agreement in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that “the conditions for Israel’s ceasefire have not changed: destroy Hamas’s military and governance capabilities, release all hostages, and ensure that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”

Domestic Divisions

Netanyahu faces intense pressure from a divided right-wing coalition government and domestic opposition parties over Israel’s plans for Gaza and Hamas.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Saturday that if Netanyahu agrees to Biden’s proposal, they will Overthrow the government.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid urged Netanyahu to accept the deal, saying he would support Netanyahu if Ben-Gvir and Smotrich opposed it.

“I remind Netanyahu that for the hostage agreement, he will have a safety net of our support,” Lapid said on X.

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Families of hostages demand Israel and Hamas accept the deal. Tens of thousands of protesters rallied again in Tel Aviv on Saturday, demanding the return of the hostages.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Sunday that he told Netanyahu, “I will fully support him and the government for a deal to release the hostages.”

“It is our inherent obligation to bring them home within the framework of an agreement that safeguards the security interests of the State of Israel,” he said, speaking at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Hamas also said it “views positively” the Israel plan proposed by Biden on Friday.

But Mahmoud Mardawi, a senior Hamas official, told Qatar TV on Saturday that “there will be no agreement until the occupation forces’ demands for withdrawal and a ceasefire are met.” He called for a truce and a complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

It’s time for a truce

Biden said Friday that a peace deal involves a six-week initial ceasefire, a partial withdrawal of Israeli troops, the release of some hostages, and a “permanent cessation of hostilities” through brokered negotiations.

“It’s time to call it a day so tomorrow can begin,” he said.

Netanyahu said the transition from the first phase to the next was “conditional,” based on Israel’s detailed proposals, and allowed Israel to retain its war aims.

Fierce Fighting

The Israeli military said on Sunday it had struck “30 terrorist targets across Gaza, including military infrastructure, weapons warehouses, and armed terrorist cells that posed a threat to IDF ground forces.”

Fierce fighting continues to erupt in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite concerns for the safety of civilians.

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the United Nations said before the Israeli offensive on Rafah on May 7 that 1.4 million people were hiding there and that a million people have fled since.

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Israeli Apache attack helicopters attacked central Rafah on Sunday, witnesses said. A warplane fired a missile at a house in the western Sultan region, and a Brazilian community in the south came under shelling.

An AFP reporter said Israeli helicopters struck two areas of Gaza City and a house in the east was hit by an airstrike.

Paramedics said an airstrike on a family apartment in Gaza City’s Daraj neighborhood killed three people, including a woman and a child.

Eyewitnesses said the areas of Deirbala, Brigi, and Nuserat refugee camps were also hit by shelling.

Israel’s seizure of the Rafah crossing has further delayed sporadic aid to Gaza, effectively closing Gaza’s main entry and exit points.

Egypt held a meeting Sunday between Israeli and U.S. officials to discuss reopening the Rafah crossing, Egyptian television said. Israel said the Kerem Shalom crossing had reopened, but the United Nations said little humanitarian aid was passing through.

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordination of Government Activities on Territories (COGAT) also said that 764 Egyptian trucks entered Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the past week.

Hamas launched a terrorist attack on Israel on October 7 last year, killing about 1,200 people and kidnapping 250 hostages. 121 of them remain in Gaza, including 37 who are deceased.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said Israeli retaliatory bombings and ground offensives killed at least 36,379 people, most of them civilians. Gaza’s health ministry did not estimate how many of the dead were combatants.

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