In a recent report, some fascinating details have emerged about the discussions between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It appears that during a phone call on Monday, Biden urged Netanyahu to halt Israel’s military operation targeting Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. According to Axios, Biden suggested this plan as a way to secure the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
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This proposal, which was reportedly brokered by Qatar, would involve Hamas accounting for all the prisoners under its custody. The arrangement would also include a three-day cessation of fighting, during which time Hamas would share the identities of its prisoners with the United States and Israel. However, it seems that Netanyahu wasn’t as enthusiastic about the idea as Biden was.
Netanyahu expressed his doubts to Biden, questioning whether Hamas would actually follow through on delivering the hostages to freedom. The Israeli leader also suspected that Hamas would take advantage of a tactical pause to launch further attacks on Israeli soldiers. In an interview with ABC News, Netanyahu made it clear that he saw a cease-fire as a surrender to Hamas and a victory for the terrorist group.
While Netanyahu firmly rejected the idea of a general cease-fire, he didn’t completely rule out more limited pauses in fighting if they were necessary for the delivery of humanitarian goods or the release of individual hostages. Israeli officials estimate that 241 people are currently being held captive by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.
This is certainly a complex and delicate situation, and it remains to be seen how the discussions between Biden and Netanyahu will progress. Regardless of one’s political stance, it’s important to closely follow these developments and consider the potential implications for both Israel and the region as a whole.