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Biden’s speech – support to Israel and future restrictions

Netanyahu and Biden. Wikipedia

On Saturday night, US President Joe Biden gave a speech in which he expressed his support for the Israeli plan presented to Hamas last week in an attempt to renew negotiations for the release of the hostages. Netanyahu said he gave the negotiating team a “broad mandate” specifically to advance the deal, but kept the details of the proposal confidential – and at the same time, Hamas announced that it would refuse any deal that did not include a complete end to the war.

In his speech, Biden revealed for the first time the details of the Israeli proposal: The deal will include three stages. In the first stage, a ceasefire will be announced and the IDF will partially withdraw from populated areas – and at the same time, Hamas will release the women, the elderly and the wounded hostages, for 30 Palestinian prisoners for each. In addition, residents of the northern Gaza Strip will be able to return to their homes. In the second stage, negotiations on a permanent ceasefire will take place, and if agreements are reached, the IDF will withdraw completely from the Gaza Strip, and all the other hostagees will be released. In the third stage, kidnapped bodies will be returned, and at the same time a process will begin to rebuild the destroyed Gaza Strip.

In his speech, Biden expressed support for the Israeli proposal, but it is not a complete backing of Israel – it is also a restriction, as it will now be difficult for Israeli politicians to withdraw from the threshold of concessions set forth in this proposal. In his speech, Biden indicated that his expectation was that the fire would not be renewed even if agreements were not reached in the second stage (when Israel would probably demand an exchange of power in the Gaza Strip and at least the exile of Hamas leaders). On the other hand, it will be difficult for Hamas to refuse such a deal without presenting itself as a barrier before the end of the war.

In any case, there are many other obstacles before the decleration of a ceasefire – such as agreements of the time length of the stages, keys to the release of prisoners and their identity, and other small details. Of course, Hamas did not express agreement to the deal – and in Israel, too, many parties in the coalition expressed disapproval of the details of the deal and criticized it severely. Combined with Gantz’s threats of withdrawing from the government by the end of the week (June 8, according to his ultimatum) if the direction of the war does not change, there is no doubt that we have a week of political upheaval and a time for decision-making.

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