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Biden to Netanyahu: It’s Time for Hamas to Agree to Ceasefire

Daniel Kim Views  

AP/Yonhap News

While the U.S. emphasizes that the Israel-Hamas conflict could end by accepting the Palestinian militant group Hamas’s ceasefire proposal, Israel has been lukewarm in its response.

According to Yonhap News, the White House announced that President Joe Biden clarified his stance on the ceasefire proposal during a call with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, on May 3rd.

Biden stressed, “Hamas is the only obstacle to a full ceasefire and aid for the residents of the Gaza Strip.”

He further confirmed that Israel is ready to meet the conditions it presented to Hamas, and the U.S. will work with Egypt and Qatar to ensure the full execution of the entire agreement.

Biden emphasized the importance of reaching an agreement now, pointing out that if Hamas continues to refuse to release hostages, it will only lead to more conflict and block aid for the residents of Gaza.

He also urged the Emir to use all appropriate means to ensure that Hamas accepts the ceasefire proposal.

The two leaders agreed that the ceasefire proposal provides a specific roadmap to end the crisis in Gaza.

The ceasefire proposal that Biden released on May 31 consists of three stages. First, a full ceasefire and withdrawal of all Israeli forces from densely populated areas, along with hostage exchanges, for six weeks. Second, a permanent termination of hostilities, including all surviving hostage exchanges and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip. Finally, the commencement of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and the return of the bodies of dead hostages.

Regarding this, John Kirby, the White House National Security Communications Coordinator, stated in a briefing, “We are waiting for Hamas’s official response. They should accept the ceasefire proposal as it gives them what they want.”

Hamas had previously stated on May 31 that it views the ceasefire proposal positively.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the crossroads of a major decision, is keeping his distance, saying that the released ceasefire proposal is insufficient.

David Menser, a spokesman for the Israeli government, shared, “Netanyahu said that the outline of the ceasefire proposal presented by Biden only addresses a portion of the issue. He believes that the war should be stopped to return hostages first and foremost.”

He added, “Discussion on how to achieve Israel’s goal of removing Hamas (after the hostages return) will follow.”

After the release of Biden’s ceasefire proposal, Netanyahu faced fierce criticism from his cabinet’s far-right faction, accusing him of giving up on removing Hamas and trying to end the war for the return of hostages.

Since then, Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed. These conditions include the removal of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities and the release of all hostages.

However, the far-right faction within the Israeli coalition still opposes concluding negotiations. They are threatening to bring down the coalition if the war ends without removing Hamas,

Reuters reported that Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Minister of National Security of Israel, repeatedly threatened the collapse of the coalition. He criticized Netanyahu is hiding the Gaza ceasefire negotiations promoted by Biden.

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich also objected, saying, “The dangerous proposal that Biden mentioned is something that the war cabinet proposed illegally beyond its authority, and Israel is not bound by it.”

He reiterated that the only solution is to strengthen military pressure on Hamas.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu is scheduled to speak to the U.S. Congress on the 13th.

The leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives previously sent an official invitation letter for a joint session of Congress to Netanyahu, who accepted it on the 1st.

If Netanyahu gives a speech this time, it will be the first case of a foreign leader speaking four times in the U.S. Congress.

However, Biden is expected to attend the G7 summit in Italy on the day of the speech.

Therefore, a separate meeting between Netanyahu and Biden is not expected.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

Comments1

300

Comments1

  • D H

    Hey Joe, when is Hamas going to release the American hostages?

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