Israel, Hamas and Qatar downgrade Biden's optimism about imminent truce deal | EUROtoday

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US President Joe Biden's monumental optimism about an imminent truce within the Gaza Strip just isn’t shared by Israel and the Islamist group Hamas, whereas their negotiations proceed oblique underneath Egyptian-Qatar-American mediation.

“My National Security Advisor tells me we are close. It's not done yet, but we are close. I hope that by next Monday we will have a ceasefire“Biden shocked earlier than the 2 sides and Qatar threw water on the forecast that was even colder than the ice cream that the president was carrying in his hand. It was interpreted extra as a want than as rational forecasting based mostly on what occurs on the conflict entrance and the negotiating desk.

The perception within the area is that the settlement to a truce of no less than 40 days is extra possible than ever, however not inside the deadline declared by Biden. While Hamas warns that “important differences” stay and accuses Israel of not wanting to finish its offensive definitively, Israeli sources downgraded the notable optimism they leaked after the Paris summit, held on Friday with the US, Egypt and Qatar. In addition, they denounced that “the terrorist group does not renounce its intransigent demands.” “There are still many obstacles,” a supply in Israel revealed to CNN.

Biden's successive statements on the conflict exhibit his private dedication and his presidential want – translated into rising stress – to realize a ceasefire within the devastating conflict that might enable the discharge of the 134 kidnappeda few of them additionally with American nationality, and alleviate the dramatic humanitarian disaster that Gazans are struggling, together with the specter of famine, after virtually 5 months of navy operation.

An offensive that would lengthen on its terrestrial aspect in a really delicate space and time. Rafah and Ramadan are two key phrases on the negotiating desk. Like the 2 sides in a conflict that turns 144 days this Tuesday, Biden desires a truce earlier than the beginning of Ramadan scheduled for March 10 or 11.

The holiest month for Muslims is a particular, religious, group and household occasion that Gaza hopes to rejoice with out airstrikes or fight. Ramadan can also be often the time when pressure multiplies across the Esplanade of the Mosques or Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in addition to Palestinian assaults in Israel.

“Ramadan is approaching and there has been an agreement on the part of the Israelis that they will not carry out (military) activities during Ramadan to give us time to get all the hostages out“Biden declared on NBC, by which he warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “if this incredibly conservative government continues like this, and Ben-Gvir (far-right leader) and others… they are going to lose the support of everyone, and that is not in Israel's interest.

“A ballot launched this Tuesday reveals that 82% of Americans help Israel,” replied the Israeli leader in a video accompanied by a statement whose title reflects the tension: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds to US President Joe Biden “.

The Rafah operation

The other major issue cited by the mediators that has raised concern and with it the urgency of an agreement is the one announced ground operation in Rafah. Israel affirms that it will enter that area near the Egyptian border to dismantle the last Hamas battalions, but it will postpone the incursion for a ceasefire that will free its own in the hands of the militia.

Biden is leading international pressure to avoid the operation in an area where more than half of the 2.3 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip live poorly. A few days ago and secretly, the head of the Israeli Army and internal security service visited Cairo to discuss with his Egyptian counterparts the evacuation plans for civilians from Rafah, most of whom were displaced, before an action that is also of great concern. to the Arab country.

Qatar is hopeful of reaching an agreement before Ramadan and avoiding the attack in Rafah, but does not believe it will be possible next Monday as Biden slipped up. “There isn’t any information within the hostage alternate negotiations and a ceasefire in Gaza,” reacted the Foreign Affairs spokesman, Majed Bin Mohamed Al Ansari, although he was optimistic because “the negotiation continues at numerous ranges.” An Israeli delegation remains in Doha to reduce differences.

The terms of the negotiation

The leaks that come out every day from the Israeli cabinet (sometimes of very different color and interest depending on the source), from the leadership of Hamas and from the mediating trio (the US, Egypt and Qatar) are a powerful psychological instrument in negotiation, with effects on the war. But it also serves to outline the roadmap for what would be the first stage of the truce. It will be about 40 days of ceasefire in which Hamas will free 40 of the Israelis that he kidnapped in the attack on October 7. According to a document revealed by Channel 13, there would be 15 over 50 years of age, 13 sick, 12 women (7 who should have been released in the November truce and 5 soldiers).

In return, Israel to release 400 Palestinian prisoners with a proportion of 10 prisoners and one day of truce for each freed kidnapped person. This is a proposal that Hamas continues to study, as revealed to the Reuters agency. The exact number and identity of the 400 Palestinian prisoners to be released must be agreed upon by the parties, although the mediation document, according to Channel 13, establishes that 15 are “heavyweights” serving life sentences for serious attacks.

The Israeli Army must also relocate its troops in the Gaza Strip away from the most populated areas, stop its aerial reconnaissance and intelligence missions carried out by drones for eight hours a day and allow the gradual return of displaced civilians from northern Gaza. In addition, humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip increase 500 trucks per day and the rehabilitation of hospitals and bakeries will be allowed, according to Reuters.

Hamas insists on its main demand: Israel's commitment to ending – and not just suspending – the massive offensive launched after the 7-0 attack. Israel refuses since, it alleges, this would mean failing to achieve the declared objective of completely ending the military and control capabilities of the Islamist group in the Palestinian enclave.