Biden Urges Hamas Accept Ceasefire Amidst Weakening Grip


President Joe Biden asserted on Friday that Hamas is “no longer capable” of orchestrating another attack like the one on Oct. 7. He also urged the terrorist group to accept Israel’s latest ceasefire proposal.

This statement by the president indicates a significant achievement by the Israeli military in weakening Hamas to prevent similar attacks in the future.

“The Israelis can make this offer due to their success in diminishing Hamas’ military abilities,” a senior U.S. administration official commented on the president’s evaluation. “Three months ago, this offer might not have been feasible.”

The official added, “Israel can make this offer without compromising its security because it has significantly weakened Hamas’s forces over the past eight months.

“As the president mentioned, Hamas is no longer in a position to conduct another Oct. 7-like attack; its military strength has been greatly reduced, and its leaders are either dead or in hiding,” they noted.

In an address from the State Dining Room at the White House, Biden detailed the new proposal, which the official confirmed Israel had accepted and communicated to Hamas on Thursday.

The three-phase plan is similar to previous ceasefire proposals, starting with a six-week ceasefire, the return of women, children, and other vulnerable hostages, the release of “hundreds” of Palestinian prisoners, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from populated Gaza areas, and a surge of humanitarian aid into the region, according to the president.

“Provided Hamas fulfills its commitments, the temporary ceasefire will lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities, as per Israel’s proposal,” Biden clarified.

The proposal lacks specific details for phase two, with many to be negotiated during the first phase. Broadly, it includes the release of all remaining living Israeli hostages and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

A notable difference in this proposal is the inclusion of language that Israeli forces would fully withdraw from Gaza. Hamas has previously indicated it would not agree to a deal without a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops.

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeatedly stated they would not support a ceasefire proposal that includes a permanent end to the war before achieving their goal of decisively defeating Hamas and removing them from power in Gaza.

Biden, acknowledging Netanyahu’s domestic political challenges, urged him and others to “support this deal” despite potential opposition, particularly from the far-right factions of his coalition.

If Hamas agrees to the proposal, it would likely halt Israel’s operations in Rafah for at least six weeks. Israel has conducted limited operations in the city despite international concerns over potential civilian casualties.

This image provided by Planet Labs PBC shows tent camps lining the beach and filling empty lots outside the central Gaza city of Deir al-Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024, housing Palestinians who fled Israel’s offensive in Rafah over the past three weeks. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

The ceasefire could extend beyond six weeks if negotiations continue, the president added.

“The second phase of the deal focuses on the release of all remaining hostages, some of whom are male Israeli soldiers,” the U.S. official stated. “This will necessitate further negotiations concerning the ratio of a potential prisoner exchange and other details. These aspects will be addressed during the first six weeks.”

Phase three involves Hamas returning the bodies of any kidnapped victims who have been killed and initiating major reconstruction efforts in Gaza.

The official acknowledged “there’s still work to be done” but expressed confidence in the administration’s ability to accomplish these tasks.

Mike Brest
Mike Brest
Defense Reporter. Prior to joining the defense beat, he spent two years covering breaking news, and he worked at the Daily Caller in a similar capacity before that. Mike graduated from American University and is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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