International News

Israel’s Three-Phase Gaza Ceasefire Roadmap

Washington: On Friday, US President Joe Biden revealed a three-phase proposal from Israel aimed at ending the conflict in Gaza, which includes a ceasefire and the release of hostages held by Hamas. Here are the main points of the “comprehensive” plan that Biden described as a “roadmap to an enduring ceasefire.”

Phase One:

  • A “full and complete ceasefire” lasting six weeks, with Israeli forces withdrawing from all populated areas of Gaza.
  • Hamas would release “a number” of hostages taken during the October 7 attacks on Israel, including women, the elderly, and the wounded. The remains of deceased hostages would also be returned.
  • US hostages held by Hamas would be freed, with Biden emphasizing the goal of bringing them home.
  • In exchange, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would be released.
  • Palestinian civilians would be allowed to return to their homes and neighborhoods across Gaza, including the heavily bombed north.
  • Humanitarian aid would increase to 600 trucks per day entering Gaza, and the international community would provide temporary shelters and housing units.
  • Israel and Hamas would negotiate arrangements to transition to phase two during the initial ceasefire period, which could be extended with the mediation of the US, Egypt, and Qatar.

Phase Two:

  • Israeli forces would fully withdraw from Gaza, in a phase lasting around six weeks.
  • Hamas would release all remaining living hostages, including male Israeli soldiers, a previous sticking point for Hamas.
  • The successful implementation would lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Phase Three:

  • A significant reconstruction and stabilization effort for Gaza would commence, supported by the US and the international community.
  • This phase would involve rebuilding homes, schools, and hospitals, ensuring that Hamas cannot re-arm.
  • The reconstruction is expected to take three to five years.
  • The final remains of any deceased hostages would be returned.

Contingency Plan:

  • Biden stated that if Hamas fails to meet its commitments, Israel could resume military operations.
  • Egypt and Qatar would ensure Hamas adheres to the terms, while the US would ensure Israel’s compliance.

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