Biden says Israel has offered Hamas a new three-phase ceasefire proposal for Gaza

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US President Joe Biden said Friday that Israel had proposed a new deal that would see hostages held by Hamas released in exchange for an “enduring ceasefire” in Gaza.

“At this point, Hamas is no longer capable of carrying out another October 7,” Biden said, referring to the attack last year, which was one of the deadliest Israel has ever witnessed.

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Biden outlined the three parts of the proposal, which would see a complete ceasefire for six weeks in Gaza. Israeli forces would withdraw from all “populated areas” of Gaza, and Hamas would release women, elderly and wounded hostages in exchange for “hundreds” of Palestinian prisoners.

The American hostages would also be released at this stage, according to Biden. “We want them home,” he said in his televised remarks from the White House.

The remains of hostages who have been killed would be returned to their families, and Palestinians would return to their homes and neighborhoods in all areas of Gaza, including in the north. Humanitarian aid would surge, with 600 trucks of badly needed assistance going into Gaza daily.

The US president pointed to the complete decimation of Gaza, which has left almost all of the displaced without homes or work to return to. The international community would deliver temporary shelters.

During the six-week pause, Israel and Hamas would negotiate what is needed to get to phase two, which is a permanent end to the fighting.

Each phase of the three-part proposal Biden discussed would be around 42 days, a senior US administration official told reporters.

But Biden admitted that several details needed to be negotiated to move from phase to phase. The proposal states that if negotiations take longer than six weeks from phase one, the ceasefire would remain intact as long as talks were ongoing.

The third and final phase would see a “major” reconstruction plan for Gaza commence, and any final remains of hostages who have been killed will be returned.

Acknowledging that some sides, including many in Israel, would push back, Biden asked those critics to “step back” and “think what will happen if this moment is lost.”

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