Israel’s New Proposal Provide Roadmap To Ceasefire, Hostage Release: US President Joe Biden | World News

President Joe Biden announced on Friday that Israel has proposed a “comprehensive new proposal” that provides a roadmap to a ceasefire in the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza and securing the release of all hostages held by the terrorist group, CNN reported. 

According to Biden, the proposal, transmitted by Qatar to Hamas, outlines a “roadmap” towards a ceasefire. The initial phase, spanning six weeks, involves a “full and complete ceasefire with the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza” and “release of a number of hostages including women, the elderly, the wounded in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.” 

This announcement follows Israel’s presentation of new ideas regarding hostage and ceasefire negotiations earlier in the week, a diplomatic source familiar with the negotiations told CNN on Tuesday without divulging details regarding these new ideas. 

Direct talks between Israel and Hamas regarding the release of hostages were paused three weeks ago due to disagreements over certain terms. 

A statement from the group said that it had shown “flexibility and positivity in dealing with the efforts of the mediators throughout all previous rounds of indirect negotiations.” Israel, Hamas said, had used the months of ongoing talks as a cover to continue its war in Gaza. 

“Hamas and the Palestinian factions will not accept being part of this policy of continuous negotiations in the face of aggression, killing, siege, starvation, and genocide of our people,” the Hamas statement said. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained that the conflict will persist until Hamas is eradicated entirely. 

President Biden, who returned to the White House from Delaware earlier on Friday, has refrained from commenting on the situation in Israel for several days. However, he is now engaging in negotiations as efforts continue to secure the release of hostages and broker a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. 

Earlier in the day, Israel announced its forces had entered central Rafah, a move cautioned against by Biden. The White House described images of the aftermath in Gaza as “heartbreaking” but stated that the incident did not meet the threshold for withholding certain US weapons shipments to Israel. 

Biden had previously indicated that a significant ground offensive in Rafah could prompt restrictions on US arms to Israel. However, there has been ambiguity surrounding the criteria for such action, leading to frustration and confusion among some observers. 

White House officials have clarified that a “major ground invasion” of Rafah would trigger a reassessment of US policy. National security spokesman John Kirby explained that such an invasion would involve “tens of thousands of troops or thousands of troops moving in a coordinated set of manoeuvers against a wide variety of targets on the ground in a massive way,” CNN reported.

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