By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“The outline presented by Biden is partial. The war will be paused for the purpose of returning hostages, after which we will have further discussions,” Netanyahu said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Monday that he is “not ready to stop” the ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, dismissing US President Joe Biden’s remarks about a ceasefire proposal as “inaccurate.”

“I am not ready to stop the war,” Netanyahu said during a confidential discussion in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as reported by the Israeli public broadcaster KAN.

Netanyahu claimed that Biden’s cease-fire proposal details were “inaccurate.” 

“The outline presented by Biden is partial. The war will be paused for the purpose of returning hostages, after which we will have further discussions,” Netanyahu reportedly said.

“There are other undisclosed details. We could cease fighting for 42 days to facilitate the return of hostages, but we will not give up our goal of complete victory,” he added, according to reports.

The Israeli prime minister declined to discuss the number of Palestinian prisoners who might be released as part of a proposed hostage exchange deal. 

“We will not agree to end the war without achieving its objectives,” Netanyahu stated. “The number of hostages to be released in the first phase of the deal has not yet been determined.”

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‘Whitewashing the Deal’

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has accused Netanyahu of concealing the full details of the latest hostage deal proposal.

Addressing reporters at the Israeli parliament (Knesset), Ben-Gvir said that Netanyahu confirmed that the actual proposal is different from the version presented by Biden and that “there will be no reckless deal and an end to the war without the collapse of Hamas.”

Netanyahu, however, reportedly refused to fully disclose the contents of the outline announced by Biden.

“I asked him if I could look at the draft of the agreement, and he agreed and said that I could come to his office so that I could see the draft with my own eyes,” Ben Gvir said, adding that when he arrived on Sunday, the prime minister’s assistants told him that “there is no draft.”

“This morning I also went to the Prime Minister’s Office, and there, once again, they refused to present the draft agreement to me,” he said.

“If the deal is not reckless and does not include a commitment to end the war for Hamas’s collapse, why do you refuse to present it to me?” Ben-Gvir wondered, accusing Netanyahu of “whitewashing” the outline.

“If you sign a reckless deal that will bring an end to the war without the collapse of Hamas, Otzma Yehudit will dissolve the government,” he stated.

Biden’s Proposal

Biden said on Friday that Israel proposed a deal including an initial six-week truce with partial Israeli military withdrawal and the release of some captives while both sides negotiated a “permanent end to hostilities.”

However, Netanyahu’s statement on Saturday dismissed any notion that Israel would agree to a permanent ceasefire before “the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities,” calling it “a non-starter.”

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid urged Netanyahu to agree to a prisoner exchange deal, pledging his party’s support even if right-wing factions in the coalition rebelled, suggesting a deal would likely pass in parliament.

“The government of Israel cannot ignore President Biden’s consequential speech. There is a deal on the table and it should be made,” Lapid said in a social media post on Saturday.

‘Positively and in a Constructive Manner’

For its part, Hamas said on Friday it was ready to engage “positively and in a constructive manner”.

Top Hamas official Mahmoud Mardawi said in an interview with Al-Araby that the movement had not yet received the proposal’s details.

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“If the Biden administration is not ready to pressure Netanyahu’s government, the deal will not see the light of day,” Mardawi said, adding that Hamas is “interested in testing the positivity generated by this new proposal and examining its chances of success.”

In any case, Mardawi explained that “no agreement can be reached before the demand for the withdrawal of the occupation army and a ceasefire is met.”

Israel’s Rejection

On May 6, Hamas politburo chief, Ismail Haniyeh informed the negotiators that Hamas had announced its acceptance of a ceasefire proposal for the besieged Gaza Strip.

Hamas later said that the necessary measures “to ensure the implementation of the agreement were also reviewed after the movement made its decision out of concern for our people and their supreme interests.”

“It is now on the occupation to seize the moment and agree to the proposal presented,” the statement added.

However, Israel rejected the deal and decided instead to go ahead with the invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,479 Palestinians have been killed, and 82,777 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu, AJA)

The post ‘Not Ready’ – Netanyahu Says War May Be Paused, Not Stopped appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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