Israel says shot down surface-to-surface missile over Red Sea

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL

Biden’s Gaza plan ‘not a good deal’, but Israel accepts it – Netanyahu’s adviser

JERUSALEM: An adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that Israel had agreed to a framework deal to end the Gaza war currently being pushed by US President Joe Biden, but he called it flawed and that much more work needed to be done.
In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Ophir Falk, Netanyahu’s chief foreign policy adviser, said Biden’s proposal was “a deal that we agreed to – it’s not a good deal, but we absolutely want all the hostages released.”

“Many details still need to be clarified,” he said, adding that nothing had changed in Israel’s conditions, including “the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organization.”

Israel fought and bombed Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Sunday as mediators urged both sides to agree to a ceasefire outlined by Biden and the release of hostages.

Biden, whose initial unreserved support for the Israeli offensive has given way to open criticism of the high number of civilian deaths, on Friday released what he said was a three-phase plan presented by the Netanyahu government to end the war.

The first phase would involve a ceasefire and the return of some hostages held by Hamas, after which the sides would negotiate an indefinite cessation of hostilities for a second phase in which the remaining living prisoners would be released, Biden said.

This sequence suggests that Hamas would continue to play a role in the gradual agreements brokered by Egypt and Qatar – which could lead to a possible conflict with Israel’s determination to resume the campaign to eliminate the Iran-backed Islamist group.

Biden has welcomed several ceasefire proposals in recent months, all offering similar terms to the one he outlined on Friday, but all have failed. In February, he said Israel had agreed to halt fighting until Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month that begins March 10. But no such ceasefire materialized.

The main point of contention is Israel’s claim that it is only discussing temporary pauses in fighting until Hamas is destroyed. Hamas, which shows no signs of backing down, says it will only release hostages when the way to a permanent end to the war is clear.

In his speech, Biden said his latest proposal “creates a better ‘day after’ in Gaza without Hamas in power.” He did not elaborate on how this would be achieved, but acknowledged that “a number of details need to be negotiated to move from phase one to phase two.”

Falk reiterated Netanyahu’s position that “there will be no permanent ceasefire until all our goals are achieved.”

Netanyahu is under pressure to keep his coalition government intact. Two far-right partners have threatened to pull out in protest at any deal they say spares Hamas. One centrist partner, former general Benny Gantz, wants to consider the deal.

Hamas has provisionally welcomed Biden’s initiative.

“Biden’s speech contained positive ideas, but we want them to be implemented within the framework of a comprehensive agreement that meets our demands,” senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

Hamas demands a guaranteed end to the Gaza offensive, the withdrawal of all invading troops, freedom of movement for the Palestinians and help with reconstruction.

Israeli politicians, however, rejected this, saying it was a de facto return to the situation before October 7, when Hamas, committed to the destruction of Israel, controlled the Gaza Strip.

The ensuing Israeli assault, which devastated large parts of the impoverished and besieged coastal enclave, killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza medical officials.

Leave a Comment