‘Partial Deal’ – Netanyahu Openly Rejects US-Backed Proposal for Gaza Ceasefire

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden. (Photo: via Israeli PM TW page, file)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The comments contradict recent statements from Biden administration officials, who claimed Netanyahu and his aides supported a proposal allegedly approved by the Israeli war cabinet.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday his interest in a “partial deal” with the Palestinian movement Hamas to secure the release of some captives held in Gaza while continuing military operations in the Strip, the American news website Axios reported.

The prime minister’s remarks were made during an interview with Israel’s Channel 14, a pro-Netanyahu station. 

When asked if he would end the war as part of a prisoner exchange deal, Netanyahu firmly stated he would not.

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US Proposal

The comments contradict recent statements from Biden administration officials, who claimed Netanyahu and his aides supported a proposal allegedly approved by the Israeli war cabinet in late May, which was publicly presented by US President Joe Biden on May 31.

The earlier proposal included a three-phase deal, aimed at releasing all 120 captives and establishing a “sustainable calm” in Gaza. 

The Biden administration rallied broad international support, resulting in a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the plan on June 10.

Hamas responded to the proposal about two weeks after Biden’s speech, requesting changes and new demands, as stated by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 12. 

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Blinken announced at the time that, while Israel accepted the proposal, Hamas did not.

The White House has not commented on Netanyahu’s recent remarks. 

Netanyahu’s comments, however, are likely to heighten tensions between the Israeli government and the White House, particularly as Netanyahu has accused the Biden administration of withholding weapons from Israel. 

Netanyahu claimed that there has been a significant reduction in munitions shipments from the US over the past four months, despite repeated requests for expedited deliveries.

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A White House official refuted Netanyahu’s accusations, stating they would not respond to political statements and looked forward to constructive discussions with Israeli Defense Minister Gallant, who is visiting Washington this week to meet with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, CIA director Bill Burns, and other senior officials.

The Hostages Families Forum Headquarters, an NGO representing the captives’ families, condemned Netanyahu’s statement, accusing him of abandoning their children and neglecting Israel’s moral duty to its citizens. 

Netanyahu’s office responded, asserting that Hamas, not Israel, opposes a deal and reiterating Israel’s commitment to retrieving all captives.

Netanyahu’s Deception

Hamas said that Netanyahu’s statements are a clear confirmation of his rejection of the UNSC resolution and Biden’s proposal, “ contrary to what the US administration tried to market as alleged approval by the occupation.”

“Hamas’ insistence that any agreement must clearly include a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was necessary to thwart Netanyahu’s attempts at deception and prolonging aggression and genocide war against our people,” the statement continued.

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Hamas called “on the international community and influential countries to work diligently to compel the fascist occupation government to stop its war against our Palestinian people”.

“We also demand that the US administration make a clear decision to stop supporting the comprehensive genocide faced by our people in the Gaza Strip and to lift the cover from the occupation and its crimes, making Washington a key partner in committing them,” the statement concluded.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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