Biden and the Ceasefire in Gaza

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Biden and the Ceasefire in Gaza
Biden and the Ceasefire in Gaza

Author: Mohammad Saleh Ghorbani



On the evening of June 11 (May 31), US President Joe Biden proposed a three-stage ceasefire for Israel to end the war in Gaza, which has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and a humanitarian crisis. This proposal includes a ceasefire, the release of Palestinian and Israeli prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza.

What's noteworthy is that, while outlining the specifics of the "Israeli proposal," Biden urged the Zionist regime to accept his proposal. He also cautioned that failing to accept the proposal would lead to an increase in Israel's isolation. This plan consists of three stages:



First phase: ceasefire, limited release of hostages and Israeli withdrawal

According to Biden, the first phase of the proposal would last for six weeks and include a "complete" ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, and the release of hostages, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

During this stage, Palestinian civilians in all areas of Gaza will be able to return to their homes and neighborhoods, and humanitarian aid will increase to 600 trucks per day delivering aid to Gaza. The first phase will also involve negotiations between Israel and Hamas to progress to the next phase of the proposal.

Second stage: release of all hostages, and complete withdrawal of Israel

Biden called the second phase a permanent end to hostilities and stated that negotiations to reach this phase could take more than six weeks due to disagreements between the two sides. If the negotiations extend beyond six weeks from the first phase, the ceasefire will remain in effect for as long as the negotiations continue.

The second phase would include the release of all remaining hostages, including male soldiers, while Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza. The temporary ceasefire would then transition into a permanent cessation of hostilities, as outlined in Israel's proposal.

The third stage: reconstruction, and returning the bodies

In the third phase, a major reconstruction plan will begin for Gaza ,and the final remains of the hostages who have been killed will be returned to their families.[1]



Hamas reaction

This plan is almost similar to the proposal that Hamas had previously agreed to.

Hamas, which announced after the Israeli attack on Rafah that it would not participate in any negotiations, has reacted positively to this plan and is ready to deal constructively with any proposal regarding a permanent ceasefire, the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, the reconstruction of Gaza, and the return of refugees to their places of residence.

Despite knowing that Biden attributed this proposal to "Israel" and that Israel may resume the war after the first phase of prisoner release, Hamas reacted positively to Biden's speech.

Hamas is cautious of falling into Israel's trap through cooperation with other parties and the US government, but it aims to show that it is not against ending the war completely, as the US and the West claim.

By taking this stance, Hamas has shifted the responsibility to Netanyahu to announce their official position on the proposal, which may further embarrass the Biden administration in front of the people and international public opinion. Global public opinion strongly opposes the Israeli regime, a stance that has damaged Biden's electoral chances significantly.[2]



Why is Biden seeking a truce?

Biden is afraid of losing the November election. A large portion of his supporters and members of the Democratic Party want him to withdraw his support for Israel's actions in Gaza, or they will not vote for him in November. He tries to portray himself as a peacemaker, but his consistent financial aid, arms sales, and diplomatic protection for Israel's actions in Gaza over the past eight months have exposed his true nature, leading to him being dubbed "Joe the Genocide."[3]



Reactions of other countries

Biden's proposal has elicited various reactions. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the countries of the Group of Seven, as well as Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have expressed their support. In a joint statement, Qatar, Egypt, and the United States have called on Israel and Hamas to finalize the ceasefire agreement.

In a statement released by Qatar's media office, Doha, Cairo, and Washington have urged Israel and Hamas to take the necessary steps to adopt the prisoner release and ceasefire agreement proposed by Israel and presented by US President Joe Biden.[4]



Differences between Zionists

Biden's proposal has increased the pressure on Netanyahu both domestically and internationally. Some Israeli politicians and families of prisoners have expressed support for this plan.

Benjamin Netanyahu's main rival, Benny Gantz, spoke positively about the proposal and urged his two war cabinet colleagues, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant, to meet and discuss the next steps. Gantz had previously threatened to leave the cabinet by June 8 if no agreement was reached on post-war Gaza plans.

Yair Lapid, the leader of the opposition, also pledged to support the plan and assured his party's backing if the ultra-nationalist and far-right parties withdraw their support.

Most of the opposition to the peace plan came from within the Israeli cabinet. Biden stated that Hamas has been significantly weakened, making a repeat of the October 7 attack impossible. However, Netanyahu, a day later, expressed that any initiative that does not involve the destruction of Hamas's capacity to govern and fight is ineffective. This was a crucial aspect of the ceasefire proposal presented by Israel itself, as mentioned by Joe Biden.

Netanyahu's far-right coalition partners, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Goyer and Finance Minister Bezalel Smutrich, have announced their intention to leave his cabinet if the agreement is reached. Ben Guerre stated that his party would dissolve the government if the proposal passed, considering it a total defeat rather than a victory. Smotrich also emphasized that he would not be part of a cabinet that agreed with the general plan of the proposal.[5]

This situation has placed Netanyahu in a difficult position. If he accepts Biden's proposal, the extreme parties that had supported him will leave the cabinet, leading to its collapse and early elections where he may not be popular with the public. On the other hand, if he rejects the proposal and continues the war, it may result in more failures, animosity, and isolation for him and the Zionist regime.

[1] [1] https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/whats-new-israel-ceasefire-proposal-biden-announced-2024-05-31/

[2] https://fa.alalam.ir/news/6876713/%DA%86%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%B4%D9%86%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D8%A7%DB%8C%D8%AF%D9%86-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%87-%D8%B7%D8%B1%D8%AD-%D8%A2%D8%AA%D8%B4-%D8%A8%D8%B3-%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%81%D9%82%D8%AA-%DA%A9%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%9F

[3] https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2024/6/4/there-is-a-measure-of-desperation-in-bidens-ceasefire-plan

[4] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/6/2/how-significant-is-bidens-gaza-peace-plan-will-hamas-andisrael-agree

[5] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/biden-cease-fire-offer-not-accurate-israel-netanyahu-hostages-hamas-rcna155129
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