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Iraq welcomes Biden's Gaza ceasefire plan

June 2, 2024 at 1:55 pm

Hundreds of people gather with banners and Israeli flags in front of the Israel’s Ministry of Defense to demonstrate demanding a ceasefire on Gaza and the return of Israeli prisoners to their homes in Tel Aviv, Israel on June 01, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Iraq welcomed on Sunday a Gaza ceasefire and hostage swap proposal laid out by US President Joe Biden, Anadolu news agency reported.

“We call for an end to the Israeli aggression, and urge the international community to fulfill its responsibilities and halt the severe violations of international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It also called on the Palestinians “to engage constructively with the proposed initiatives to safeguard their rights and legitimate aspirations.”

On Friday, Biden said Israel presented a 3-phase deal that would end hostilities in the Gaza Strip and secure the release of hostages held in the coastal enclave.

Biden called on the Palestinian resistance group Hamas to accept the proposal and urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resist pressure from members of his governing coalition to reject the plan.

Netanyahu’s office reiterated Friday his intention to continue his deadly offensive in Gaza until all of Tel Aviv’s war goals are achieved.

Hamas, for its part, said it will “respond positively to any proposal that includes a permanent ceasefire, a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction efforts, the return of the displaced, and the completion of a comprehensive hostage exchange deal.”

Israel has been waging a brutal offensive against Gaza since October, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire. The offensive has killed at least 36,400 Palestinians, mainly children and women, and wounded over 82,600 others.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of “genocide” at the ICJ, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. According to South Africa, which took the occupation state to the ICJ, Israel is ignoring the court’s orders.

READ: Israeli president ready to back Netanyahu on Biden’s Gaza proposal