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U.S.

Netanyahu faces pressure over cease-fire in Gaza, hostage deal

Jun 3

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The United States is continuing to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. However, both sides appear to remain at odds over the conditions to end fighting. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israel defense officials on Sunday, June 2, commending Israel for considering a U.S.-advanced framework and saying that the pressure is now on Hamas to accept the cease-fire deal.

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President Joe Biden announced on Friday, May 31, that Israel had endorsed the initial proposal and urged both sides to reach a final cease-fire agreement.

“All this progress would make Israel more secure with Israeli families no longer living in the shadow of a terrorist attack, and all this would create conditions for a different future, a better future for the Palestinian people,” Biden said.

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Reports surfaced over the weekend that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was under pressure by his coalition government to reject the cease-fire proposal over concerns it would not allow Israel to continue its campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

Far-right members of Netanyahu’s government have reportedly threatened to break up the government if Israel accepts the deal, possibly forcing Netanyahu to face new elections. Many Israelis are also urging Netanyahu to accept the proposed deal in order to bring the remaining Israeli hostages home. Demonstrators staged protests on Saturday in Israel.

Biden has said that the first phase of the proposal would involve the withdrawal of Israeli forces from “populated” areas of Gaza, as women, children and wounded Israeli hostages are released by Hamas. In exchange, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would be released by Israel and more aid would be allowed to flow into Gaza.

The second phase would reportedly be negotiated by Israel and Hamas, with Egypt and Qatar mediating the talks. The two sides would negotiate a permanent end to fighting and the release of all remaining Israeli hostages. In exchange, Israel would withdraw all remaining troops from Gaza.

A Netanyahu aide said that though Israel had accepted the framework deal, it was still “flawed,” and details still needed to be worked out, including the final release of hostages and maintaining Israel’s plan to take down Hamas.

Biden argued that Israel has dismantled Hamas to the point that it could not mount an attack like the Oct. 7 massacre again. However, the president noted that he’s aware of strong resistance to fully withdrawing Israeli troops from Gaza by leadership in Israel.

The cease-fire negotiations come as a survey from the Pew Research Center found that the number of Israeli Jews who believe a Palestinian state and Israel can peacefully coexist dropped to 19%. That is down 32% compared to a survey released weeks before the start of the war in Gaza.

The new survey is the lowest percentage since it began in 2013. However, Israeli Arabs were more optimistic, with nearly half those surveyed believing that a Palestinian and Israel state could peacefully coexist.

Still, the survey shows wide gaps in between the Jewish and Arab community. For instance, 74% of Israeli Arabs believe Israel’s military campaign against Hamas has gone too far, while just 4% of Israeli Jews believe the military campaign has gone too far.

However, both groups did have some shared concerns, like the war in Gaza spreading to other regions following attacks by Iran and skirmishes between Israeli and Hezbollah forces on the border.

Israel is entering its eighth month of war against Hamas. The survey was taken in March and April among 1,000 adults, before Israel’s invasion of Rafah.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

THE U.S. CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR A CEASEFIRE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS IN GAZA.

YET BOTH SIDES REMAIN AT ODDS OVER THE CONDITIONS TO END FIGHTING.

SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN SPOKE WITH ISRAEL DEFENSE OFFICIALS SUNDAY, COMMENDING ISRAEL FOR CONSIDERING AN U.S.-ADVANCED FRAMEWORK AND SAID THE PRESSURE IS NOW ON HAMAS TO ACCEPT THE DEAL.

PRESIDENT BIDEN ANNOUNCED FRIDAY ISRAEL HAD ENDORSED THE INITIAL PROPOSAL AND URGED BOTH SIDES TO REACH A FINAL CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT.

[JOE BIDEN]

“ALL THIS PROGRESS WOULD MAKE ISRAEL MORE SECURE WITH ISRAELI FAMILIES NO LONGER LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF A TERRORIST ATTACK. AND ALL THIS WOULD CREATE CONDITIONS FOR A DIFFERENT FUTURE, A BETTER FUTURE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE.”

[LAUREN TAYLOR]

REPORTS SURFACED OVER THE WEEKEND THAT ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WAS UNDER PRESSURE BY HIS COALITION GOVERNMENT REJECT TO REJECT CEASEFIRE PROPOSALS OVER CONCERNS IT WOULD NOT ALLOW ISRAEL TO CONTINUE ITS CAMPAIGN AGAINST HAMAS. 

FAR-RIGHT MEMBERS OF NETANYAHU’S GOVERNMENT HAVE REPORTEDLY THREATENED TO BREAK UP THE GOVERNMENT IF ISRAEL ACCEPTS THE DEAL.

FORCING NETANYAHU TO FACE NEW ELECTIONS.

NETANYAHU HAS DENIED THOSE REPORTS AND SAID ONE OF HIS CHIEF GOALS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ELIMINATION OF HAMAS.

MANY ISRAELIS ARE URGING NETANYAHU TO ACCEPT THE PROPOSED DEAL. STAGING PROTESTS SATURDAY.

THE FIRST PHASE WOULD BEGIN WITH A WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI FORCES FROM “POPULATED” AREAS OF GAZA. 

AS WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND WOUNDED ISRAELI HOSTAGES ARE RELEASED. IN EXCHANGE, HUNDREDS OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS WOULD ALSO BE FREED AND MORE AID WOULD BE ALLOWED TO FLOW INTO GAZA.

THE SECOND PHASE WOULD BE NEGOTIATED BY ISRAEL AND HAMAS FOR THE PERMANENT END TO FIGHTING AND THE RELEASE OF THE REMAINING ISRAELI HOSTAGES.

IN EXCHANGE, ISRAEL WOULD WITHDRAW ALL REMAINING TROOPS FROM GAZA.

A NETANYAHU AIDE SAID THOUGH ISRAEL HAS ACCEPTED A FRAMEWORK DEAL, IT WAS STILL “FLAWED”– AND DETAILS STILL NEED TO BE WORKED OUT, INCLUDING THE FINAL RELEASE OF HOSTAGES AND MAINTAINING ISRAEL’S PLAN TO TAKE DOWN HAMAS.

BIDEN ARGUED ISRAEL HAS DISMANTLED HAMAS TO THE POINT IT COULD NOT MOUNT AN ATTACK LIKE OCTOBER 7TH AGAIN. BUT NOTED HE’S AWARE OF STRONG RESISTANCE TO FULLY WITHDRAWING TROOPS FROM GAZA BY ISRAELI LEADERSHIP.

THE CEASEFIRE NEGOTIATIONS COME AS RESEARCH REVEALS ISRAELI JEWS WHO BELIEVE A PALESTINIAN STATE AND ISRAEL CAN PEACEFULLY COEXIST HAS DROPPED DRAMATICALLY. DOWN TO JUST 19 PERCENT. A DROP OF 32 PERCENT FROM A SURVEY RELEASED WEEKS BEFORE THE WAR.

FOR MORE ON CEASEFIRE NEGOTIATIONS AND THE LATEST ON THE WAR IN GAZA– DOWNLOAD OUR STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP AND VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT SAN-DOT-COM.