Biden says Israel has extended new cease-fire proposal


President Biden said Israel has offered a new cease-fire proposal as Israel continues its push further into the Rafah, a city in southern Gaza.

The president, speaking from the White House Friday, offered some of the details of the Israeli proposal. The president said Qatar has submitted the Israeli proposal to Hamas. Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., has yet to issue a response. 

“Israel has offered a comprehensive new proposal,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s a roadmap to an enduring cease-fire and the release of all hostages. This proposal has been transmitted by Qatar to Hamas.”

The Israeli proposal consists of three phases, Mr. Biden said. The first, a six-week phase, would consist of a “full and complete cease-fire,” the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza and the release of a number of hostages — including women, the elderly and the wounded — in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, the president said. American hostages, Mr. Biden said, would be released in this stage. And the remains of hostages who have died would be returned to their families. In the first phase of the proposal, Palestinian civilians would also return to their neighborhoods “in all areas of Gaza.” Humanitarian aid would also surge. 

“All that and more would begin immediately,” the president said. 

During the second phase, Israel and Hamas would negotiate for the second phase of a permanent end to hostilities, Mr. Biden said. This phase would include the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers, and a withdrawal from Gaza, as long as the proposal is honored, Mr. Biden said. And the temporary ceasefire would become permanent, as long as the mosque lives up to its commitments, the president said. 

The third phase, Mr. Biden said, would include the returns of any final remains of hostages who have been killed. It would also initiate a major reconstruction plan for Gaza. 

The president’s speech comes as Israel continues its advance into Rafah in southern Gaza, and as Israel faces mounting international criticism over Palestinian deaths and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

The president began his marks by commenting on the Thursday conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records. 



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