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Israel has offered ceasefire and hostage proposal to Hamas, says Biden | World News

Palestinians look at the damages after a fire at the site of an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced people, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, May 27, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Israel has offered a comprehensive new ceasefire deal to Hamas, US President Joe Biden says.

The deal would involve the return of Israeli hostages from Gaza and reconstruction of civilian areas.

Mr Biden urged leaders on both sides not to “lose this moment”.

“Everyone who wants peace now must raise their voices and work to make it real. It’s time for this war to end,” he said during a surprise address at the White House on Friday.

The first phase of the proposed deal would be a ceasefire lasting six weeks, during which Israel and Hamas would negotiate a permanent end to the fighting in Gaza, Mr Biden said.

If the negotiations take longer than six weeks, the ceasefire would continue for as long as it takes to strike a deal, he added.

Phase two would involve Hamas handing over all remaining hostages and Israel withdrawing all of its forces from Gaza.

The final phase would be about a “major reconstruction plan”, according to the president.

He also urged Israel’s leadership to back the proposal, arguing that Hamas was no longer capable of carrying out another attack on Israelis like the one on 7 October.

Sky US correspondent Mark Stone describes the announcement as a “big moment”, saying it “feels significant” compared with other similar ones in the past.

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