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Israel’s insistence that there will be no ceasefire until they destroy Hamas means there’s no hope for peace
By Cassie B. // Jun 04, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently reiterated his country’s conditions for ending the war, and if they stick to their guns on this, peace in the Middle East seems extremely unlikely.

In a statement, he said: "Israel's conditions for ending the war have not changed: The destruction of Hamas military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel."

It’s the destruction of Hamas that seems particularly unlikely right now, leaving many observers convinced that Israel will never end the war.

In case it wasn’t clear enough the first time, he added: "Israel will continue to insist these conditions are met before a permanent ceasefire is put in place. The notion that Israel will agree to a permanent ceasefire before these conditions are fulfilled is a non-starter.”

The statement came not long after President Biden announced that Israel proposed a three-stage plan for arriving at a permanent ceasefire. The first phase, according to Biden, would see a full ceasefire accompanied by the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas and the return of some Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

In the second phase, all remaining living hostages would be returned to Israel; this would include male soldiers.

The third and final phase would involve returning the remains of deceased Israeli hostages and a “major reconstruction plan” that would see international assistance supporting the rebuilding of hospitals, schools and homes.

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Hamas has specified that the conflict must come to a full end. They want a guarantee that Israeli forces will not go back into Gaza following the release of the hostages.

Israeli governing coalition could fall apart over deal

It is believed that Netanyahu may now be trying to reframe the proposal and appease his government by saying the terms of the deal aren’t exactly how Biden presented them. Many far-right members of Netanyahu’s coalition oppose the plan. Some have threatened to pull out of the coalition if the war ends before Hamas is destroyed, which would effectively end the current government.

Speaking to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on Monday, he said “the claim that we agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met is not true.” He was apparently referring to the second phase of the proposal’s permanent ceasefire.

A Netanyahu spokesperson clarified: “The war will be stopped for the purpose of returning hostages and then we will proceed with further discussions. There are other details that the US President did not present to the public.”

Senior Knesset Member Hanoch Milwidsky told the BBC this weekend that the coalition is unified in its opposition to the “completely unacceptable” deal.

"The math of the Israeli government has not changed -- that means Hamas can no longer rule Gaza, can no longer have any capability, not military not any civilian capability to be in power, and all the hostages need to come back. The war will not stop until these demands are met."

The Biden administration still insists there is a way forward. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the U.S. has “every expectation” that the Jewish state will accept the proposal if Hamas agrees.

He said: "We're waiting for an official response from Hamas," adding that he hopes both sides will agree to get things underway “as soon as possible."

Kirby added that American intelligence indicates that Hamas’s military capabilities have now been degraded to the point that they would not be able to carry out another attack like the one on October 7 that killed 1,200 Israelis and took 252 hostages and started the war. Since then, more than 36,000 people have been killed in Gaza, many of them innocent civilians.

Sources for this article include:




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