‘Time For This War To End’: Biden Presents Israel's 3-Phase Plan For Gaza Ceasefire

The proposal comes after months of war in Gaza, which has led to widespread destruction and a humanitarian crisis.

US President Joe Biden | Photo: AP

A plan aimed at achieving a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and releasing all hostages held for eight months has been proposed by Israel, according to US President Joe Biden.

Speaking from the White House, Biden said the proposal was the result of intensive diplomacy by his team and has been conveyed to Hamas via Qatar, one of the main mediators in negotiations.

The president urged Hamas to accept the new Israeli proposal, saying it was "time for this war to end" and “for a new era to begin.”

The proposal comes after months of war in Gaza, which has led to widespread destruction and a humanitarian crisis. The Biden administration has faced opposition from within the Democratic Party over its policy on Israel, with protests and resignations from administration officials in recent weeks.

Demonstrations have been held across the United States, with students setting up encampments on college campuses last month and human rights groups organising rallies outside the White House. The protests have called for an end to the war and a shift in US policy towards Israel.

What Is The Ceasefire Proposal?

The proposal involves three phases:

Phase One:

- A six-week ceasefire

- Withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza population centres

- Exchange of hostages, including elderly and female detainees, for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners

- Return of Palestinian civilians to Gaza, including northern Gaza

- Daily delivery of 600 trucks carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza

Phase Two:

- Negotiations between Hamas and Israel to establish a permanent end to hostilities

- Continuation of ceasefire throughout negotiations

Phase Three:

- Implementation of a reconstruction plan for Gaza

- Return of remains of captives who lost their lives to their families

While Biden said Israel had agreed to the plan, he noted that some Israelis, including members of Netanyahu’s coalition government, will disagree with the proposal and call for the war to continue.

“They’ve made it clear: They want to occupy Gaza. They want to keep fighting for years. The hostages are not a priority for them. Well, I urge the leadership in Israel to stand behind this deal despite whatever pressure comes,” Biden said.

The plan comes after weeks of Israeli military operations in Rafah and mounting pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the ongoing captivity of hostages.

Hamas Response To Israel's Three-Phase Plan

Hamas has issued a statement saying that the group "views positively what was included in US President Joe Biden’s speech today." Hamas also said that it would only deal with proposals if they were based on a permanent cease-fire and complete Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, among other stipulations.

Friday's statement echoed a statement from a day earlier in which the group said that if Israel stops its war in Gaza, it would be prepared "to reach a complete agreement that includes a comprehensive exchange deal."

Recap Of Israel’s War On Gaza:

On October 7, Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing over 1,100 people and taking more than 240 hostage. 

In response, Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of over 36,000 Palestinians, according to health officials. The war has reduced much of the Palestinian territory to rubble and displaced the vast majority of residents.

In November, Israel and Hamas held talks, resulting in the release of around 100 hostages in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. 

In recent weeks, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians fled after being forced from their homes.