Biden tells ABC News that Netanyahu agreed ‘publicly’ to the ceasefire deal

Biden: ‘I think he’s listening to me. They were going to … invade all of Rafah … They haven’t done that.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Following a D-Day commemoration on Thursday, ABC‘s David Muir asked US President Joe Biden if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports the recent three-phase ceasefire and hostage release deal.

“Publicly, he says he is,” Biden replied. “Our European friends are in on it. We have to get a ceasefire.”

Muir reminded Biden that he called Israeli’s military response to Hamas was “over the top” and that he had warned Israel against the Rafah operation.

Biden implied that he prevailed upon Israel to lessen the severity of the Rafah campaign.

He said, “I think he’s listening to me. They were going to go into […] Rafah […] full-bore, invade all of Rafah, go into the city, take it out, move, move with full force. They haven’t done that.”

Returning to the subject of the hostage and ceasefire deal, Biden said, “And what they’ve done is they’ve agreed to a significant agreement. ”

Although Hamas has yet to approve the deal, “It’s being backed by Egypt, being backed by the Saudis, being backed by almost the whole Arab world. We’ll see. This is a very difficult time,” Biden continued.

In the most recent version of the plan, the first phase of the ceasefire would require the release of the women, elderly, wounded, and ill hostages, as well as the bodies of deceased hostages.

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This is a departure from an earlier agreement that emphasized the release of living hostages in the first phase and of bodies in later stages.

The second phase of the deal would see the release of the remaining hostages, including male soldiers, and a withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza.

Biden said of the second phase, “As long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the Israeli proposal, a cessation of hostilities permanently.”

The third phase would usher in “a major reconstruction plan for Gaza” and the release of the remainder of the bodies of Israeli hostages.

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