Will Israel support the peace plan for Gaza announced by Biden? | Israel-Palestine Conflict News

The United States on Monday circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council urging its members to back a three-phase ceasefire plan in Gaza that US President Joe Biden announced last week.

Under the first stage of the plan, which Biden says is an Israeli proposal, a six-week ceasefire would hold, during which the Israeli army would withdraw from populated areas of Gaza.

Some Israeli captives would also be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Civilians would be allowed to move around Gaza, including the north, and 600 trucks would transport humanitarian aid to the enclave daily.

In the second phase, Hamas and Israel would negotiate terms for a permanent end to hostilities, although Biden said the ceasefire would continue “as long as negotiations continue.”

The third phase of the plan would include a permanent ceasefire, which would allow the reconstruction of the enclave, and the definitive end to a devastating war in which Israel has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians.

So is the war over?

Not quite.

While Biden framed the proposal as an Israeli peace plan, the reaction from Israel’s leaders has been unclear. It appears as if the country’s coalition government is bitterly – and possibly permanently – divided.

The two far-right members of the cabinet, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, rejected the proposal outright and threatened to overthrow the government.

Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inform far-right ministers first?

It doesn’t seem like it, and Ben-Gvir said Netanyahu’s office had not presented him with an agreement to read despite promising to do so.

Netanyahu himself has been trying to disassociate himself from the project, despite the United States repeatedly claiming that the plan came from the Israeli side.

On Saturday, a day after Biden publicly announced the deal, Netanyahu interrupted the Jewish holy day, Saturday, to declare that any permanent ceasefire is “beginningless.”

“Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: the destruction of Hamas’ military and governance capabilities, the release of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer represents a threat to Israel,” Netanyahu said, reiterating a position that seems to contradict the peace agreement. proposal.

Netanyahu and Israel’s right seem especially concerned about the second phase of the plan, in which his negotiators are still dealing with Hamas, a group that the United States claims is so exhausted that it is no longer capable of carrying out a repeat of the attack. October 7. about Israel.

Will Netanyahu be able to overrule his cabinet opponents and force a ceasefire?

Leaving aside the question of whether Netanyahu himself has any desire to end this war, the prime minister will have a hard time keeping his coalition together if he agrees to any plan without the approval of his entire government.

Benny Gantz, a member of the war cabinet (and potential Netanyahu replacement), has not opposed the proposal, and ultra-Orthodox politicians from the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, both members of the ruling coalition, have also backed the proposal. agreement.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Yair Lapid has offered to lend Netanyahu the votes he needs to get this issue passed by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset.

However, that would only give Netanyahu the seats he needs to pass the ceasefire proposals and not the support he needs to maintain his place at the head of the government.

For that he still needs Smotrich and Ben-Gvir.

The suspicion also persists among many that Netanyahu wants to continue the war to avoid corruption charges he faces.

In fact, when asked if Netanyahu wanted to continue the war so he could remain in power, Biden responded by saying there was “every reason for people to come to that conclusion.”

So what do Smotrich and Ben-Gvir want?

In short, colonize Gaza and force its population to “emigrate voluntarily.”

On social media, Smotrich said he had “made it clear” to Netanyahu that he was not prepared to “be part of a government that will accept the proposed scheme and end the war without destroying Hamas and returning all the hostages.”

Ben-Gvir was not happy either. “If the prime minister implements the reckless deal under the conditions published today, which mean an end to the war and a renunciation of the elimination of Hamas, Jewish Power (his far-right party) will dissolve the government,” the report said. National security. the minister wrote.

Are Israel’s allies angry at the lack of commitment?

Allies – including the United States – are increasingly outspoken in their criticism of Israel.

Aside from their attack on Netanyahu’s priorities, Biden and other senior US officials have increasingly issued public statements that diverge from the Israeli line.

But there is a limit, and the Biden administration continues to insist that Hamas is to blame for the lack of progress on the peace agreement, despite the Palestinian group responding positively in its public statements, and the similarities between the announced plan for Biden and the plan Hamas said it had accepted in early May.

Speaking on Monday, Biden “claimed that Hamas is now the only obstacle to a complete ceasefire.” UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron struck a similar tone, saying: “The first thing that needs to happen is for Hamas to accept this deal.” Meanwhile, Germany presented the deal as a glimmer of hope to free captives held by Hamas and stop Palestinian deaths in Gaza.

Where did the ceasefire proposal originally come from?

If the United States is to be believed, Israel.

Al Jazeera’s queries to the US State Department about the origin of these latest proposals have gone unanswered. Likewise, requests to see the plan also received no response.

The plan was reportedly proposed by Israel’s three-member war cabinet in the middle of last week, and Netanyahu’s initial objections were overcome by arguments from officials and the other two cabinet members.

And on Tuesday, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said it had received an Israeli proposal for an agreement for the release of captives held in Gaza that reflected the principles set out by Biden.

Hamas now says it views the offer “positively,” and a senior official says it will “accept this deal” if Israel does so. Hamas official Osama Hamdan said Tuesday that any deal would have to include a permanent ceasefire and an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, both stipulated as part of the third phase of the proposal Biden refers to.

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