“It’s time for this war to end. » Joe Biden called, Friday, May 31, on Hamas to accept a three-stage plan in favor of ending the war in Gaza proposed by Israel, based on an initially temporary ceasefire, accompanied by a release of the hostages. In a speech from the White House, the American president considered that this road map, which was, according to him, submitted to Hamas on Thursday through Qatar, is an opportunity not to be “missed”.

The first phase would be a total ceasefire, with a withdrawal of Israeli troops from “inhabited areas of Gaza” for a period of six weeks. The cessation of fighting, according to the 81-year-old Democrat, would be accompanied by the release of some Israeli hostages, including women and the sick, and the release of Palestinian prisoners. This temporary ceasefire could become “permanent” if the Palestinian movement “respects its commitments,” added Joe Biden, calling on Hamas to “accept” the proposed agreement.

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Friday evening deemed the new proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip coupled with the release of hostages as “positive,” according to a statement. “Hamas views positively what was included today in US President Joe Biden’s speech regarding a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, reconstruction and the exchange of prisoners,” the group said in the document.

Major reconstruction program in Gaza

The next phase of the plan would include the release of all hostages still held in Gaza. The president called on the Israeli government to resist “pressure” from advocates of “endless” conflict. In the longer term, Joe Biden spoke of the normalization of Israel’s relations with Saudi Arabia and its inclusion in a “regional security network”. He also spoke of a major reconstruction program in Gaza where civilians, according to him, are today experiencing “hell”, as well as the Palestinians’ right to “self-determination”.

Joe Biden, who until now had never outlined such a comprehensive roadmap, spoke of a “decisive moment”, but recognized that “nothing was simple”. Hamas said Thursday it was willing to reach a truce in the Gaza Strip that would include a “comprehensive agreement on an exchange” of prisoners, but only if Israel stopped its bombing.

After the announcement, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken promoted this new roadmap on Friday during calls with his counterparts from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Returning from a NATO meeting in Prague, the secretary of state “insisted that Hamas must accept the deal without delay,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said . UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reacted on In Israel, the Hostage Families Forum agreed, declaring that “we cannot let this opportunity slip away.” The group therefore called on civil society to mobilize to push political leaders to accept and implement the proposal. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, welcomed the proposed agreement, saying it offered “a real opportunity” to end the war. “I completely agree with President Biden that the latest proposal provides a real opportunity to move toward an end to the war and civilian suffering in Gaza. This three-step approach is balanced and realistic. She now needs the support of all parties,” the Commission President wrote on social media. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on X that the Israeli proposal “offers a glimmer of hope and possibly a way out of the conflict.”

Israel has vowed to “destroy” the Palestinian movement, in power in Gaza since 2007 and considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, after the attack carried out on October 7 by commandos from the Islamist movement and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad infiltrates from Gaza into southern Israel. More than 1,189 people, mostly civilians, were killed there according to a count carried out by Agence France-Presse based on official Israeli figures. And of the 252 people taken hostage during the attack, 121 are still being held in Gaza, 37 of whom are dead, according to the military. In response, the latter besieged the Gaza Strip and launched a campaign of bombings by air, land and sea followed on October 27 by a ground offensive, which has so far left more than 36,280 dead, mostly civilians. , according to data from the administration of the territory, governed by Hamas.