US proposes new language in Israel-Hamas Gaza ceasefire deal

The Biden Admin continues to blame Hamas for the failure of the deal, despite Israel’s repeated rejections of it [Getty]

The United States has proposed new language for key parts of the proposed captive exchange and ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas in a renewed effort to reach an agreement that would end Israel’s war on Gaza, according to a report on Saturday.

US news site Axios, citing unnamed sources, reports that the amended text, which Washington is working on as part of joint mediation efforts with Qatar and Egypt, concerns the subject of negotiations held after the deal takes effect that will determine the conditions for the second phase of the agreement.

Hamas, in line with the original ceasefire deal announced by US President Joe Biden in May, want the negotiations to focus on how many and which Palestinian prisoners will be released in return for all living male Israeli ones in Gaza.

Israel, on the other hand, wants to focus on the “de-militarisation” of Gaza, which at this point is considered to mean the maintenance of its ability to wage war on the enclave.

The details of the changes made by the US to the text of the deal are not yet known, but the Biden administration is still pushing the three-phase deal that would lead to the release of the remaining 120 captives being held by Hamas and to “sustainable calm” in Gaza, according to Axios.

Although the US continues to blame Hamas for the lack of any progress on a ceasefire deal, Israel’s continued rejection of accepting a permanent ceasefire is seen as being the main obstacle to an agreement.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again rejected the proposal and told Channel 14 that he is only interested in a “partial deal” with Hamas that will free “some of the hostages” held in Gaza and allow Israel to continue it devastating war on the Palestinian territory.

This prompted fury from the umbrella organisation that represents most of the families of Israeli hostages and an alleged increase in US pressure on Netanyahu, with Washington still unwilling to criticise the Israeli PM publicly.

Hamas responded to Netanyahu’s speech by saying it was proof that Biden was not being honest when it said Israel had agreed to, let alone proposed, this deal.

“Netanyahu’s position regarding his desire for a partial agreement in which only some of the hostages will be released shows that he opposes the UN Security Council resolution and President Biden’s speech,” Hamas said in a statement.

Israel’s war on Gaza has so far killed over 37,800 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are civilians, while much of the enclave has been left uninhabitable.

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