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Netanyahu aide says Israel agrees with Biden's plan for ceasefire in Gaza

An advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday (2) that Israel has accepted a framework agreement to end the war in the Gaza Strip that is being presented by United States President Joe Biden, although he described it as flawed and needy. of improvements and much more work.

In an interview with Britain's Sunday Times, Ophir Falk, Netanyahu's top foreign policy adviser, said Biden's proposal was “a deal that we agree to – it's not a good deal, but we very much want the hostages to be released, all of them. ”.

“There are many details to be resolved,” he said, adding that Israeli conditions, including “the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organization,” have not changed.

Biden, whose initial staunch support for Israel's offensive gave way to open censure of the operation's high civilian death toll, on Friday conveyed what he described as a three-phase plan put forward by Netanyahu's government to end the war.

The first phase involves a truce and the return of some hostages held by Hamas, after which the parties would negotiate an open cessation of hostilities for a second phase, in which the remaining live hostages would be released, Biden said.

This sequence appears to imply that Hamas would continue to play a role in incremental agreements brokered by Egypt and Qatar – a potential conflict with Israel's determination to resume the campaign to eliminate the Iran-backed Islamist group.

Biden has welcomed several ceasefire proposals in recent months, each with structures similar to the one he outlined on Friday, all of which have failed.

In February, he said Israel had agreed to suspend fighting during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that began on March 10. Such a truce did not materialize.

The main point of contention has been Israel's insistence on discussing only temporary pauses in fighting until Hamas is destroyed. Hamas, which shows no sign of backing down, says it will release hostages only on the path to a permanent end to the war.

In his speech, Biden said that his latest proposal “creates a better day after day in Gaza without Hamas in power.” He did not detail how this would be achieved and acknowledged that “there are a number of details to be negotiated to move from phase one to phase two”.

Falk reiterated Netanyahu's position that “there will be no permanent ceasefire until all of our objectives are achieved.”

Netanyahu is under pressure to keep his coalition government intact. Two far-right partners have threatened to flee in protest against any agreement they consider sparing Hamas. A centrist partner, former general Benny Gantz, wants the deal to be considered.

Hamas provisionally welcomed Biden's initiative.

“Biden’s speech included positive ideas, but we want this to materialize within the framework of a comprehensive agreement that meets our demands,” Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

Hamas wants a guaranteed end to the offensive in Gaza, the withdrawal of all invading forces, free movement of Palestinians and reconstruction aid.

Israeli authorities rejected this as an effective return to the situation that existed before October 7, when Hamas, bent on the destruction of Israel, ruled Gaza.

Its fighters precipitated the war by storming the border fence with Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli records.

In the ensuing Israeli attack, which devastated much of the impoverished and besieged coastal enclave, more than 36,000 Palestinians were killed, Gaza medical officials say. Israel claims that 290 of its soldiers died in the fighting.

(Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta)

Source: CNN Brasil

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