Netanyahu and Biden Discuss Progress on Hamas Ceasefire Deal in Phone Call

Jimmy Williams

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Joe Biden spoke on the phone Thursday to review a response from Hamas to the latest Israeli peace proposal, a senior administration official reported.

According to the official, Hamas has moved closer to accepting a multi-phase ceasefire deal with Israel. The plan aims to see hostages released, fighting stopped, and rebuilding begin in the Gaza Strip over time.

The official noted that while the response does not guarantee a deal within days, the remaining issues primarily concern implementation. The White House believes “there’s a pretty significant opening here.”

Negotiations had stalled for months over the release of hostages taken during the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, and achieving a lasting ceasefire. The Biden administration has worked with Egypt and Qatar to pressure Hamas and secure the necessary commitments. Biden also urged the Israeli government to move forward, arguing Hamas now poses a much smaller threat to Israel’s security.

The main diplomatic hurdle remains: Hamas demands Israel’s complete and immediate military withdrawal from Gaza, while Israel seeks the ability to resume military operations against Hamas in the future.

However, earlier this month, the White House indicated the sides were closer than ever to a ceasefire deal. A senior administration official stated on June 26 that talks were “down to specific paragraphs,” signaling significant progress towards ending hostilities and securing the release of remaining hostages.

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