Biden ‘wrong’ on proposed ceasefire deal, says Israeli official

Israeli official says President Biden misunderstood Israel’s proposed compromise for a ceasefire and hostage deal, insists Israel will continue fighting after initial truce.

By World Israel News Staff

President Joe Biden misinterpreted the terms Israel has accept for a possible ceasefire and hostage deal, an Israeli official said Sunday, emphasizing that Jerusalem has not agreed to permanently halt hostilities with Hamas starting with an initial truce.

On Friday, Biden addressed the White House State Dining Room, pushing a plan he said was based on an existing Israeli proposal made to Hamas via Qatar and Egypt.

Referring to the deal as “the Israeli proposal,” Biden laid out three stages for the agreement, beginning with a six-week ceasefire, during which the IDF would withdraw from all populated areas of the Gaza Strip.

During this stage, Hamas would release several dozen Israeli captives, while Israel would free hundreds of jailed terrorists.

After the six-week ceasefire, Israel and Hamas would be obliged to negotiate a permanent ceasefire.

This second phase, with no definite time-frame, would extend the initial truce “as long as negotiations continue,” Biden said.

Israel would complete its withdrawal from Gaza and release more jailed terrorists, in exchange for Hamas’ freeing of the remaining living hostages.

Once a final deal is achieved, phase three would center around reconstruction of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the return of the remains of dead Israeli captives, and efforts by the U.S. and its allies to establish mechanisms to prevent Hamas from reestablishing itself as a military power.

Biden’s plan notably does not include Hamas’ removal from power – a key point Israel has insisted upon since the beginning of the war.

An Israeli source “intimately familiar” with the proposal told i24NEWS that Biden misunderstood Israel’s position when he spoke Friday.

“What Biden said is almost true,” the source said.

“The thing he got wrong – or interpreted incorrectly – is about the second phase.”

Israel, the official said, has intentionally spoken vaguely in regards to a long-term truce and end to hostilities with Hamas. The president, the official said, misinterpreted Israel’s willingness to enter talks for a lasting cessation to the war as agreement to continue the initial ceasefire indefinitely.

Earlier on Sunday, Ophir Falk, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief foreign policy advisor, told Britain’s Sunday Times that Israel may have to accept a hostage agreement that is “not a good deal.”

Falk added, “There are a lot of details to be worked out,” including “the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organization.”

Two senior ministers in the Netanyahu government, however, have threatened to bolt if the Biden proposal is accepted.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said Saturday that they would agree to the proposed plan, calling it a “reckless deal” which would constitute “surrender” to Hamas.