Netanyahu Views Biden’s Gaza Truce Plan As “Partial”, Says Israel

Netanyahu Views Biden's Gaza Truce Plan As 'Partial', Says Israel

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu views a plan outlined by US President Joe Biden for a truce in Gaza and hostage release deal as “partial”, a government spokesman said Monday.

Biden on Friday presented what he labelled an Israeli three-phase plan that would eventually end the fighting, free all hostages held by Palestinian group and lead to the reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip without Hamas in power.

“The outline that President Biden presented is partial,” government spokesman David Mencer quoted Netanyahu as saying, adding in a press briefing that “the war will be stopped for the purpose of returning the hostages” after which discussions will follow on how to achieve Israel’s goal of eliminating Hamas.

Netanyahu, according to a separate statement issued by his office, told a parliament committee that “claims that we have agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met are incorrect”.

The prime minister’s far-right coalition partners, party leaders National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, both slammed the latest plan on Monday.

Ben Gvir said the proposal laid out by Biden would mean “the end of the war without achieving the objective that the cabinet clearly set: the destruction of Hamas”.

If Netanyahu would “sign on an irresponsible deal”, Ben Gvir said his party “will break up the government”.

Smotrich said: “If, heaven forbid, the government decides to adopt this proposal of surrender, we will not be part of it and we will act to replace the failed leadership with new leadership.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, a centrist former premier, has said the government “cannot ignore Biden’s important speech”, vowing to back Netanyahu if his far-right coalition partners quit.

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,190 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Hamas also took some 250 hostages, 120 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

At least 36,479 Palestinians, also mostly civilians, have been killed in Gaza in Israeli bombardments and ground offensive since October 7, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory.

US, Egyptian and Qatari mediation efforts have stalled since a one-week truce in November that saw dozens of hostages freed in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and a surge in humanitarian aid deliveries into besieged Gaza.

Lebanese Hamas ally Hezbollah meanwhile has traded regular cross-border fire with Israel since the Gaza war began.

Smotrich on Monday said the Israeli military should invade Lebanon and push “hundreds of thousands of Lebanese” away from the border area.

He said Israel must establish a “security strip” in southern Lebanon — as it had maintained for 15 years before withdrawing troops in 2000 — including by launching “a ground invasion, occupation of the territory, and distancing Hezbollah terrorists and hundreds of thousands of Lebanese among whom Hezbollah hides to the other side of the Litani river”, some 30 kilometres (almost 20 miles) away from the UN-patrolled border.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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