Things to know about the latest proposed ceasefire in Gaza

President Biden raised hopes last week when he approved a plan that he said could lead to a “permanent cessation of hostilities.” He said Israel had put forward the plan, but neither Israel nor Hamas had clearly said whether they would accept or reject the proposal and they still appeared to be at odds on fundamental issues.

Here’s what’s known about the ceasefire, what key points still have to be negotiated, and what obstacles still lie ahead:

Israel and Hamas agreed to a week-long ceasefire in November. But the proposal currently being put forward – as put forward by Mr. Biden, a senior US administration official and Israeli officials – is more ambitious. Major issues remain unresolved, including whether Hamas will continue to control the Gaza Strip.

Propose will take place in three phases.

IN phase oneAmong other things, Israel will withdraw from population centers in Gaza during a six-week ceasefire, and dozens of women and elderly hostages are held by Hamas and its allies in Gaza would be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

During that time, negotiations on a permanent ceasefire will continue and, if successful, the agreement will enter phase two, with the Israeli military withdrawing completely from the land. All hostages and more Palestinian prisoners will be released. In phase three, Hamas will return the bodies of the dead hostages and a three to five year reconstruction phase with support from the United States, European countries and international organizations will begin. .

One of the main gaps between Hamas and Israel over this plan is the duration of the ceasefire and the future role of Hamas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Monday he was ready to implement a six-week ceasefire, according to a person who attended a closed-door meeting he held with Israeli lawmakers. But he has publicly said that Israel will fight until Hamas’s military and administrative capabilities are destroyed.

As proposed, it appears that Hamas will proceed with phase two and three negotiations with Israel, which would suggest that it will maintain some measure of control over Gaza. Netanyahu has repeatedly said this is a red line and also ruled out an executive role for the Palestinian Authority, a bitter rival of Hamas that has limited governance in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel’s prime minister is facing competing pressure from the United States and other allies to end the war, and on the other hand, from two far-right partners in his ruling coalition has threatened to overthrow his government if Israel agrees to a deal to end the war without eliminating Hamas.

To demonstrate that pressure, one of them, Israel’s far-right Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, said on Wednesday that his party would continue to cause trouble Netanyahu’s coalition until he releases details of the proposal. Two Israeli officials confirmed this week that the offer Biden shared was broadly in line with the most recent ceasefire proposal Israel made in talks brokered by Qatar and Egypt.

Hamas said it was responding “positively” to the plan, but at a news conference on Tuesday, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman, said that Hamas had informed mediators that the group was not may accept an agreement that does not provide for a permanent arrangement. a ceasefire, a complete Israeli withdrawal and a “serious and genuine agreement” to exchange Palestinian prisoners for hostages.

On the same day, Sami Abu Zuhri, a member of Hamas’s political office, accused Israel of not being serious about a deal and said the White House was putting pressure on Hamas despite “knowing that the problem lies” with the Israelis. .

Many people in Gaza say they want the war to end, but analysts note that Hamas, an armed group, is not responding to the wishes of the enclave’s people. Political experts say that the group’s leaders, incl highest ranking official territory, Yahya Sinwar, may be in no hurry to end the conflict, partly realizing that Hamas’s leverage will diminish once it agrees to release the hostages.

A person familiar with the negotiations said Mr. Sinwar, the alleged mastermind of the October 7 attack, still had to weigh in on the proposal.

Adam Rasgon Report contributions.


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