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Updated May 31, 2024, 4:51pm EDT
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Semafor Signals

Biden says Israel has proposed a new ceasefire agreement to end the war in Gaza

Insights from Mother Jones, Al-Monitor, and Middle East Eye

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US President Joe Biden said Friday that it was “time for this war to end,” as he outlined a new ceasefire agreement proposed by Israel aimed at ending the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

The plan, Biden said at a press conference, will be split into three phases: The first phase would see a six-week “full and complete” ceasefire and allow up to 600 aid trucks into Gaza daily in exchange for Hamas releasing “a number” of Israeli hostages. The rest of the hostages would be released in phase two in exchange for a complete Israeli military retreat from Gaza. Phase three would initiate the reconstruction of Gaza.

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Israel has promised a “cessation of hostilities permanently,” said Biden, if Hamas agrees to certain negotiations during the first phase.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Ceasefire proposal ‘nearly identical’ to previous one that Israel rejected

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Sources:  
Mother Jones' David Corn, Journalist Séamus Malekafzali

The timing of Biden’s pronouncement to end the war is “significant” as it comes just two days after a top Israeli official said the conflict will continue through 2024, noted Mother Jones’ David Corn. One Middle East writer pointed out that the Israel proposal outlined by Biden appeared to be nearly identical to the Qatar-brokered deal that Hamas had agreed to weeks ago, but Israel ultimately rejected, a characterization confirmed by a US administration official who said: “What is now in front of everybody is basically the terms by which Hamas was prepared to move forward.”

Biden’s ‘red line’ on Israel actions in Gaza keeps shifting

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Sources:  
Al-Monitor, The New York Times

Israel is testing Biden’s “shifting red line” on what he will tolerate in Gaza, Al-Monitor wrote. The White House said that Israel’s deadly airstrike in Rafah that killed dozens of Palestinians did not violate the president’s red line for suspending weapons shipments. For Biden, drawing clear red lines is “a politically dangerous thing to do,” said one security analyst, as his Israel policy faces criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for different reasons. The White House is deliberately offering “blurry” descriptions of Biden’s red line, a Middle East expert told The New York Times, because “they don’t want to pin themselves down by identifying an exact point or line that gets across because Israel will absolutely cross that line.”

Hamas shows ‘flexibility’ in post-war governance

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Source:  
Middle East Eye

Hamas officials have expressed “flexibility” in post-war governance of Gaza, and have shown willingness to relinquish power so long as the US or Israel don’t have authority to take over the strip, Middle East Eye reported. But the transfer of power is easier said than done. The militant group has rejected proposals for the Palestinian Authority — which partially governs the West Bank — to rule the strip, since Hamas considers it too politically linked to Israel, Middle East Eye wrote. And while Hamas is open to governance negotiations, it firmly believes that “nobody can bypass it” since Gazans still view it as a “resistance [that] is fighting on their behalf,” according to a source close to Hamas.

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