Biden Urges Israel, Hamas To Accept 3-Stage Hostage, Cease-Fire Deal In Gaza: 'It's Time To End This War'

Zinger Key Points
  • Biden proposes that a major reconstruction plan for Gaza commence with the cooperation of Arab nations.
  • Markets reacted positively to Biden's plan, with major indices trimming losses and oil prices falling.
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President Joe Biden proposed a comprehensive hostage and cease-fire deal on Friday, urging both Israel and Hamas to accept terms to bring an end to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The new Israeli proposal presented to Hamas is "a roadmap to an enduring cease-fire and the release of all hostages," Biden said in the 15-minute address. "It's time to end this war."

Biden detailed the new Israeli proposal, which includes three phases:

  1. Initial Phase (Six Weeks): A complete cease-fire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas in Gaza, and the release of several captives, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. American hostages would also be freed at this stage. The remains of dead captives would be returned to their families, and Palestinian civilians would return to their homes. Humanitarian assistance would increase with 600 trucks entering Gaza daily, and hundreds of thousands of tents distributed by the international community.
  2. Second Phase: An exchange of all remaining living captives, including male soldiers, alongside a full withdrawal of Israeli soldiers from Gaza.
  3. Third Phase: The commencement of a major reconstruction plan for Gaza and the final return of any remaining captives’ remains.

"Israel has made their proposal. Hamas says it wants a cease-fire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it,” Biden said.

Biden asserted that Hamas is "no longer capable" of launching another large-scale attack on Israel as it did on Oct. 7, and called for both parties to agree to the truce.

“I’ve urged the leadership of Israel to stand behind this deal despite whatever pressure comes,” Biden added.

"As someone who's had a lifelong commitment to Israel, as the only American president who has ever gone to Israel at a time of war, as someone who just sent the US forces to directly defend Israel when it was attacked by Iran, I ask you to take a step back, think what will happen if this moment is lost,” Biden said. “We can't lose this moment."

‘Heartbreaking Pain’

Biden acknowledged the profound suffering caused by the conflict.

"The past eight months have been marked by heartbreaking pain — pain of those whose loved ones were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists on October 7; hostages and their families waiting in anguish; ordinary Israelis whose lives are forever marked by the shattering event of Hamas's sexual violence and ruthless brutality," he said.

He continued, "The Palestinian people have endured sheer hell in this war. Too many people have been killed, including thousands of children. Far too many have been badly wounded. We all saw the terrible images from a deadly fire in Rafah earlier this week following an Israeli strike targeting Hamas."

Biden said the deal would lay the groundwork for “a different future — a better future for the Palestinian people, one of self-determination, dignity, security, and freedom.”

The rebuilding of Gaza, as part of the deal, will involve the cooperation of Arab nations and the international community, along with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Biden said.

This effort also aims to ensure that the reconstruction is carried out in a manner that prevents Hamas from rearming.

“It’s time to begin this new stage for the hostages to come home for Israel to be secure for the suffering to stop, it’s time for this war to end,” Biden concluded.

Market Reactions: Markets reacted positively to Biden’s cease-fire proposal, with U.S. major indices trimming losses in the afternoon session.

By 3:15 p.m., the S&P 500, tracked by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, was only 0.1% lower, while the Nasdaq 100, tracked by the Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ, was down 1%, with both indices recovering from heavier losses earlier in the day.

Oil prices recorded their third consecutive session in the red, with West Texas Intermediate light crude falling below $77 a barrel.

The iShares MSCI Israel ETF EIS was down 0.6% for the day.

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Image: Shutterstock

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Posted In: Emerging MarketsPoliticsGlobalTop StoriesGazaHamasisraelJoe BidenMiddle EastStories That Matter
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