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Biden's road map basically signals the Zionist entity’s defeat

June 3, 2024 at 12:00 pm

Protesters hold signs and chant slogans as they demonstrate against President Joe Biden’s visit to Chicago, where he is attending a fundraising event for his presidential campaign, on May 8, 2024, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. [Jacek Boczarski – Anadolu Agency]

What prompted US President Joe Biden to deliver his urgent speech, in which he tried to fool the Arabs and pacify them with a “new” peace proposal for Gaza that is simply an extension of the now infamous Oslo Accords? His road map to end Israel’s war against the Palestinians is the inevitable result of the legendary persistence and steadfastness of the Palestinian people and their resistance against the Zionist state’s brutal military occupation. They have exposed the predicament facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden himself, and the Zionist Arab normalisers. Public opinion around the world has shifted in sympathy and empathy towards Palestine and its people.

The Zionist proposal consists of three phases, starting with a temporary six-week ceasefire, followed by an exchange of Israeli hostages, including soldiers, held by Hamas, for a few hundred Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The reconstruction of Gaza on a large scale will be the third and final phase.

Biden warned Hamas that if it rejects this proposal, the Zionist entity will continue its war on Gaza, with dire consequences for the Palestinians. The resistance movement, he said, will be held responsible for any further bloodshed and the Palestinians who will be killed by the criminal Zionist regime. His proposal was actually from Israel and, given that that was the case, it is amazing that Netanyahu has already “rejected” his own proposal.

This illustrates the bad faith in which it has been presented.

READ: Far-right Israeli ministers threaten government dissolution if Netanyahu agrees to Biden’s Gaza proposal

Nevertheless, this means that the text must be scrutinised accurately in favour of the resistance based on the greatest number of gains, or the fewest losses. We must not forget that Netanyahu and his criminal gang as well as his political opponents have vowed to attack Palestinian civilians in Gaza until Hamas is “destroyed”.

The resistance groups, I would suggest, should take into consideration that a six-week ceasefire must include the complete withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from the whole Gaza Strip during that period, and not only from “residential areas”. The latter term as used in the proposal is open to interpretation, a typical Zionist tactic when drafting agreements. They always leave a barely disguised get out clause so that they can avoid having to implement clauses with which they, at heart, disagree. Moreover, any occupation troops encircling “residential areas” will be like predators waiting to pick off their prey.

It must also be clear that a ceasefire means the cessation of all military activity by land, sea and air. Israeli gunboats, for example, must keep out of Gaza’s territorial waters so that fishermen can go about their work unhindered. Drones must not be deployed in Gaza’s airspace, and the return of Israeli settlers to the so-called Gaza envelope of settlements should be linked to the return of Palestinians to their homes — or what’s left of them — across the enclave.

The prisoner exchange issue is the trump card in the hands of the resistance, and the most valuable catch in the negotiations. As such, it must be the bare minimum of Zionist hostages released in the first six weeks, carried out in stages so that if the occupation state violates any ceasefire conditions, the release process will be stopped. This means also that the Israeli soldiers being held must be the last to be released. Israel has a track record of not fulfilling its commitments — the so-called “permanent status” issues of the Oslo Accords are an example of this — so whatever cards can be held in reserve, “just in case”, must be.

The extent of the destruction in terms of civilian infrastructure — including homes, schools, hospitals and places of worship — must be calculated and expressed as precisely as possible to boost the flow of humanitarian and financial aid. This is necessary to begin the reconstruction of Gaza’s port and airport (destroyed by Israel in 2001/2) to facilitate the arrival of aid and materials, and reduce Palestinian reliance on the border crossings being kept open by Egypt and Israel. Moreover, the Palestinians must demand the presence of UN observers to monitor the crossing points and borders and submit periodic reports to the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council.

These are my suggestions regarding the proposal announced by Joe Biden. However, the Palestinians are better placed than us regarding what may or may not be placed on the table; the resistance groups are, after all, in a position of strength. Had it not been for their steadfastness in the face of the Zionist army, Biden would not have presented his road map in the first place. The proposal basically signals the Zionist entity’s defeat.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.