June 18, 2024
Biden’s Gaza Plan ‘not a good deal’ But Israel Accepts It, Says Netanyahu’s Chief Foreign Policy Advisor
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Biden’s Gaza Plan ‘not a good deal’ But Israel Accepts It, Says Netanyahu’s Chief Foreign Policy Advisor

An aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Israel had accepted a framework deal being advanced by U.S. President Joe Biden, for winding down the Gaza war, though he described it as flawed and in need of much more work.

In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Ophir Falk, the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, said President Biden’s proposal was not a good deal but Israel dearly wants all the hostages released.

He added that Israeli conditions, which include, in his own words, ‘the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organisation’ have not changed.

The US President on Friday aired what he described as a phased plan submitted by the Netanyahu government to end the war.

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The first phase entails a truce and the return of some hostages held by Hamas, after which the sides would negotiate on an open-ended cessation of hostilities for a second phase in which remaining live captives would go free.

President Biden has hailed several ceasefire proposals over the past several months, each with similar frameworks to the one he outlined on Friday, all of which collapsed. In February he said Israel had agreed to halt fighting by Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that began on March 10. No such truce materialised.

The primary sticking point has been Israel’s insistence that it would discuss only temporary pauses to fighting until Hamas is destroyed. Hamas, which shows no sign of stepping aside, says it will free hostages only under a path to a permanent end to the war.

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