Biden: Time for Israel's war on Hamas 'to end' as he reveals peace plan

Biden: Time for Israel's war on Hamas 'to end' as he reveals peace plan

US President Joe Biden said it is time for Israel’s war on Hamas to “end” and revealed the middle-eastern country has offered a new ceasefire deal to the Palestinian terror group.

The deal would include the return of Israeli hostages held in Gaza after they were snatched by Hamas in the deadly October 7 attack and the reconstruction of civilian areas destroyed by Israel’s onslaught.

Mr Biden said leaders on both sides should not "lose this moment".

In a statement late on Friday, the terror group said it looked “positively” at the plan.

It said: “Hamas confirms its readiness to deal positively and in a constructive manner with any proposal that is based on the permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal [of Israeli forces] from the Gaza Strip, the reconstruction [of Gaza], and the return of the displaced to their places, along with the fulfillment of a genuine prisoner swap deal if the occupation clearly announces commitment to such deal”.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron said Hamas “must accept” the new ceasefire deal outlined by President Biden.

Lord Cameron wrote on X: “With a new hostage agreement on the table, Hamas must accept this deal so we can see a stop in the fighting, the hostages released and returned to their families and a flood of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“As we’ve long argued a stop in the fighting can be turned into a permanent peace if we are all prepared to take the right steps.

“Let’s seize this moment and bring this conflict to an end.”

Israeli soldiers on patrol (Israeli Army/AFP via Getty Image)
Israeli soldiers on patrol (Israeli Army/AFP via Getty Image)

Speaking at the White House, he said: “Everyone who wants peace now must raise their voices and work to make it real. It's time for this war to end.”

He added: “I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan. And will call for the war to continue indefinitely. Some are even in the government coalition. They've made it clear. They want to occupy Gaza. They want to keep fighting for years and hostages are not a priority for them.

“Well, I've urged leadership in Israel to stand behind this deal, despite whatever pressure comes.

"As someone who's had a lifelong commitment to Israel, as the only American president who has ever gone to Israel at a time of war, as someone who just sent the U.S. forces to directly defend Israel when it was attacked by Iran, I ask you to take a step back, think what will happen if this moment is lost”.

Biden said Hamas was "no longer capable" of carrying out another large-scale attack on Israel and said the proposed deal was “a decisive moment”.

Biden said Israel’s proposed deal, which would begin with a six week ceasefire allowing for negotiations for a permanent peace, was an opportunity for Hamas, which has said it wants a cease-fire, to prove "whether they really mean it."

People look at pictures of hostages kidnapped in Gaza (REUTERS)
People look at pictures of hostages kidnapped in Gaza (REUTERS)

Phase two of the proposed deal would involve Hamas handing over all remaining hostages and Israel withdrawing all of its forces from Gaza.

The final phase would be about a "major reconstruction plan", according to the president.

Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas' attack in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted about 250.

Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.Cease-fire talks ground to a halt at the beginning of the month after a major push by the U.S. and other mediators to secure a deal, in hopes of averting a planned Israeli invasion of the southern city of Rafah.The talks were stymied by a central sticking point: Hamas demands guarantees the war will end and Israeli troops will withdraw from Gaza completely in return for a release of all the hostages, a demand Israel rejects.