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The United States is making its biggest push yet to get Israel and Hamas to stop the conflict. Is it successful? – vopbuzz

The United States is making its biggest push yet to.cms

WASHINGTON: In Middle Eastern capitals, at the United Nations, White House and beyond The Biden administration is mounting its most intense diplomatic push in the eight-month-old war in Gaza to persuade Israeli and Hamas leaders to accept an offer of a deal that would bring peace. truce and the release of more hostages. But a week into the US pressure campaign, the world is still waiting for signs that President Joe Biden’s call for a ceasefire, launched on May 31, is working. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leaders are moving toward a breakthrough in negotiations.
For Israel and Hamas, the US diplomatic press has become a clear test of whether both sides are ready to stop the war; at least under any circumstances that fall short of their claimed goals, whether that be the complete crushing of the militant group or its complete withdrawal. Israeli soldiers coming from Gaza.
For Biden, who describes the proposal as Israeli, it is the latest high-profile test for U.S. leadership as it tries to persuade ally Israel and the militant group to relent in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and inflamed regional tensions. takes much of the management’s focus.
Let’s take a look at the US-led pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza and the point this effort has reached:
going public
The ceasefire proposal Biden outlined in a televised speech at the White House a week ago was not actually new. Biden explained the terms to the world and threw the full weight of the US presidency behind the call for both sides to accept this agreement.
The terms Biden described for the first of three phases were very similar to the agreement that U.S., Qatari and Egyptian mediators, as well as Israel and Hamas, have been negotiating for months.
There would be a six-week ceasefire in which Israeli forces withdraw from populated areas of Gaza. In exchange for Israel’s release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, Hamas would release some women, the elderly and the wounded among the hostages it captured in the October 7 attacks that started the war in Israel.
Although the terms are unclear, the proposal calls for the full release of the remaining hostages and an Israeli withdrawal in later stages.
Biden said a week ago: “Everyone who wants peace now must speak up and let leaders know they must accept this deal.”
However, until Friday, neither Israel nor Hamas said yes to this offer. Netanyahu said the terms of the offer were not as publicly stated and that Israel would never stop fighting until Hamas’s army and leadership were “destroyed.”
Nimrod Novik, a former senior advisor to the late Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, said Biden “decided to bypass Netanyahu and explain to the Israeli public how serious the potential is to take out all the hostages.”
The US’s aim is this: “So that Israel will say yes to its own proposal,” said Novik, an Israeli member of the Washington-based Israel Policy Forum.
maintain pressure
The Biden administration is not giving up on its efforts to bring Hamas and Israel into its ranks.
“The United States will do everything it can to keep pushing this. Until there’s nowhere left to go anymore,” said Jonathan Panikoff, a former U.S. intelligence official. He is currently director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Middle East program.
US diplomats at the UN are asking the Security Council to adopt a resolution demanding a permanent ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, over Israel’s objections. Biden is sending Secretary of State Antony Blinken back to the Middle East next week for his eighth visit since the war began; He’s on a whirlwind tour of Middle Eastern capitals in support of a ceasefire proposal.
CIA director Bill Burns and Biden’s Middle East adviser Brett McGurk also traveled to the region to rally support for the deal and show key players how it could work.
The Group of seven leading global economies approved the proposal. The countries held hostage by militants in Gaza are in the same situation. Biden, Blinken and other U.S. officials have been working the phones to rally support among Arab governments, from Egypt and Qatar to Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Panikoff said many allies welcomed the president’s attempt to normalize ceasefire talks after weeks of dragging on.
view from israel
There is little sign yet that US efforts are sufficient to change the political equation in Israel. Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners have vowed to overthrow the government if the Israeli prime minister accepts the proposal outlined by Biden.
Trailing in opinion polls and facing an ongoing corruption trial, Netanyahu has little incentive to risk another election. Although opposition leader Yair Lapid has offered to back Netanyahu for a hostage deal, the two men are bitter enemies and there is little reason to think any alliance will last.
Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Netanyahu’s war cabinet, held a press conference on Saturday and is expected to address his earlier threat to resign by the end of this week if Netanyahu does not release a plan for the war and Gaza.
If Gantz leaves, Netanyahu will continue to hold his parliamentary majority. But the departure of Gantz, a respected former military chief and defense minister in Washington, will undermine Netanyahu’s international credibility and make him more vulnerable than ever to his far-right coalition partners, who believe Israel should reoccupy Gaza and oppose the ceasefire. It will leave you addicted. offer.
Popular protests could be one of several scenarios that could lead Netanyahu to agree to a deal, Novik said. Alternatively, Novik suggested that even the threat of a public denunciation from Biden could encourage Netanyahu to compromise, given the importance of the United States as an ally.
How about Hamas?
Hamas is expected to give a formal response to Biden’s offer in the coming days, the Qataris and Egyptians, who have been in direct communication with Hamas officials in the negotiations, told US officials this week.
Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told reporters in Beirut this week that Biden’s statement was “positive” but said the group could not accept any deal without Israel’s guarantee of a permanent ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and a prisoner exchange. and other conditions.
Although Hamas’ religious leader and other political figures are based abroad, Hamas must also convey any suggestions to Yahya Sinwar and other military leaders in Gaza—whose views are crucial. They live underground in tunnels 30 meters or more deep and are believed to surround themselves with foreign hostages to deter attacks.
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