Biden Raises Pressure on Israel, Hamas for Deal to End War

President Joe Biden sought to ratchet up momentum for a deal to end the Israel-Hamas war and redirect protests around his handling of the conflict that threaten to undermine his reelection bid.

Bloomberg
Published1 Jun 2024, 12:11 AM IST
Biden Raises Pressure on Israel, Hamas for Deal to End War
Biden Raises Pressure on Israel, Hamas for Deal to End War

President Joe Biden sought to ratchet up momentum for a deal to end the Israel-Hamas war and redirect protests around his handling of the conflict that threaten to undermine his reelection bid.

Biden said a fresh proposal from Israel would ensure an “enduring cease-fire and the release of all hostages,” calling it a decisive moment for both sides to end the fighting. He acknowledged the domestic pressure his administration faces as his support for Israel has fractured his electoral coalition months before Election Day.

“I know this is a subject on which people in this country feel deep, passionate convictions, and so do I,” Biden said in an address at the White House on Friday. “It’s been one of the hardest, most complicated problems in the world. There’s nothing easy about this.”

Biden sought to frame the latest proposal, offered as part of talks being mediated in talks by Egypt and Qatar, as a precursor to an enduring peace, even as Israel has indicated it will press ahead with the war. Israel’s military ratcheted up operations in Rafah in recent days and vowed to continue its campaign through the remainder of the year, defying world leaders who have called for a halt to the violence. 

Hamas, meanwhile, said Thursday it would cease negotiations as Israel continued its campaign in Gaza. The group, which is labeled a terrorist organization by the US and European Union, said it was still willing to strike a “complete agreement” that would return hostages if Israel stopped the war.

Biden sketched out a three-part roadmap for the proposed agreement, with a first phase that would last for six weeks and see Israel withdraw from all populated areas of Gaza. Hamas would release some hostages and remains, while Israel would return some Palestinian prisoners.

A second phase would see the exchange of all remaining living hostages and the removal of Israeli troops from Gaza, followed by a third phase that would see a major reconstruction plan commence.

Read more: Israel Sees Seven More Months of Fighting to Defeat Hamas

Progressive voters have called on Biden to break with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and restrict arms shipments to his government. A series of high-profile protests on college campuses exposed the divisions among a a voting group Biden needs to win in November. 

“Hamas says it wants a cease-fire,” Biden said. “This deal is an opportunity whether they really mean it. Hamas needs to take the deal.”

Read more: Biden Sticks to ‘Tightrope’ Israel Policy as Rafah Deaths Mount

He also addressed tensions within Netanyahu’s government, which relies on the support of far-right parties, saying that Israel risks draining its resources and becoming further isolated internationally the longer the war goes on.

“The people of Israel should know they can make this offer without any further risk to their security,” Biden said, adding that Hamas was no longer capable of carrying out another attack similar to the one it launched on Oct. 7. “I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan.”

With assistance from Akayla Gardner.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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First Published:1 Jun 2024, 12:11 AM IST
HomeNewsWorldBiden Raises Pressure on Israel, Hamas for Deal to End War

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