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Netanyahu says he will not halt Gaza war, disputes Biden's ceasefire proposal

June 3, 2024 at 2:28 pm

Protesters, wearing white color dresses with red colour on them resembling blood, carry banners as thousands of Israelis gather in Israeli capital Tel Aviv, to demand returning of hostages, early elections and the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on May 25, 2024. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Monday that he is “not ready to stop” the ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, claiming that President Joe Biden’s remarks about a ceasefire proposal were “inaccurate”, Anadolu Agency reports.

“I am not ready to stop the war,” the public broadcaster, KAN, quoted Netanyahu as saying during a secret discussion in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

He claimed that the details of the ceasefire proposal laid out by Biden were “inaccurate”.

“The outline that Biden presented is partial. The war will be stopped for the purpose of returning hostages and then we will have a discussion,” he said.

“There are other undisclosed details. We could cease fighting for 42 days to facilitate the return of hostages, but we will not give up our goal of complete victory.”

Media: US, Israel, Egypt meeting on Gaza ends

The Israeli premier declined to discuss the number of Palestinian prisoners who would be released as part of a proposed hostage swap deal.

“We will not agree to end the war without achieving its objectives,” Netanyahu said. “The number of hostages to be released in the first phase of the deal has not yet been determined.”

On Friday, Biden said Israel presented a three-phase deal that would end hostilities in Gaza 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 Netanyahu to resist pressure from members of his governing coalition to reject the plan.

However, Netanyahu’s office reiterated on Friday that the government intends to continue its deadly offensive on Gaza until all of Tel Aviv’s war “goals” are met.

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 continued its brutal offensive on Gaza following a 7 October Hamas attack, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

More than 36,400 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and over 82,600 others injured, according to local health authorities.

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 stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: Hamas is ‘prepared to cooperate with any ceasefire efforts’