Biden Declares Hamas Degraded, Pushes for Ceasefire to End Gaza Conflict

President Joe Biden asserted on Friday that Hamas has been degraded to a point where it can no longer carry out attacks like the one that ignited the current eight-month conflict in Gaza. According to CNN. He laid out a three-phase proposal from Israel aimed at ending the crisis, declaring, “It’s time for this war to end.”

Biden’s remarks suggested Israel’s main objectives have been met and emphasized the necessity of stopping the fighting as part of a hostage deal. “At this point, Hamas no longer is capable of carrying out another October 7, just one of Israel’s main objectives in this war, and quite frankly a righteous one,” he said at the White House.

The three-phase Israeli proposal, presented by Biden, includes a “full and complete ceasefire” in exchange for the release of hostages. The plan involves:

  1. A six-week phase where Israeli forces withdraw from populated areas of Gaza, paired with the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
  2. The exchange of remaining living hostages, including male soldiers, under the condition that Hamas commits to the ceasefire permanently.
  3. The commencement of a major reconstruction plan for Gaza and the return of remains of any deceased hostages.

However, shortly after Biden’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintained that the war would continue until Hamas is defeated. As reported by Al Jazeera, “The Israeli government is united in the desire to return our hostages as soon as possible and is working to achieve this goal,” Netanyahu’s office stated, emphasizing the continuation of military operations.

Hamas responded positively to Biden’s proposal, expressing readiness to engage in a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive prisoner exchange if Israel commits to ending its war in Gaza.

Former President Barack Obama also supported the ceasefire proposal, describing it as “clear, realistic and just,” though he acknowledged that it wouldn’t resolve deeper issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The proposal closely mirrors a recent deal proposed by Hamas, according to Reuters, a senior US administration official. Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas had stalled three weeks ago, but the latest proposal has reignited diplomatic efforts, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefing counterparts in Jordan, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

Biden urged ordinary Israelis to support the hostage agreement to secure peace. He also addressed the American public, recognizing the high civilian toll in Gaza and calling the situation “one of the hardest, most complicated problems in the world.”

Despite ongoing military actions, Biden emphasized the need for a diplomatic solution, highlighting the humanitarian crisis and the devastating impact on civilians.