US Pushes for Gaza Ceasefire and Prisoner Exchange as Diplomatic Efforts Intensify

Politics The Biden administration is ramping up diplomatic efforts to achieve a Gaza ceasefire and prisoner exchange. CIA Director William Burns and Brett McGurk lead US mediations, amidst crucial roles from Qatar and Egypt.

Intensive diplomatic efforts are underway by the Biden administration to achieve a breakthrough in the prisoner exchange deal and a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. This comes amidst a backdrop of increased regional and international pressure to resolve the ongoing conflict. CIA Director William Burns is expected to arrive in Doha, while Brett McGurk, President Biden's chief advisor for Middle East affairs, will head to Cairo. This coordinated effort highlights the comprehensive pressure campaign by the United States to move forward with the proposed deal.

In a recent statement, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby emphasized that the current proposal offers the best opportunity for the release of detainees and a ceasefire. However, Hamas has yet to respond to Israel's proposal. The US administration continues to work closely with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, although there is a notable concern that Netanyahu may be prolonging the conflict for political survival, as inferred by President Joe Biden in an interview.

Qatar has played a vital role in mediating the proposal. Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari confirmed that Qatar received an Israeli proposal reflecting the principles of a ceasefire agreement and communicated it to Hamas. Despite ongoing communications with all parties involved, there is a call for a clear position from Israel regarding the truce proposal.

The US State Department has acknowledged the critical role of Qatar in delivering messages to Hamas and has made it clear that there can be no usual dealings with Hamas by regional countries. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated that Hamas is the primary obstacle to a ceasefire.

Hamas leader Osama Hamdan insists that no agreement will be made with Israel unless there is a clear commitment to ending the war and withdrawing from Gaza. The recent Israeli response has not met these demands, complicating efforts to reach an agreement. President Biden had announced a three-stage proposal including a ceasefire, a prisoner exchange, and the reconstruction of Gaza, but there are disagreements between Washington and Tel Aviv regarding this proposal.

Parallel efforts by Egypt and Qatar are ongoing to bring Palestinian organizations to a common position that facilitates a ceasefire and the release of hostages. Hamas demands a written document and clear guarantees from the United States to ensure Israel's compliance. The Palestinian factions have agreed to let Hamas lead the negotiations to prevent parallel negotiation paths with Israel. Additionally, Hamas has refused any plan for the Rafah crossing that doesn’t include Israel’s complete withdrawal from it.

  • An Egyptian source mentioned that various ideas related to the reactivation of the Rafah crossing are being considered, including handing its control to the Palestinian Authority. There are also talks focused on Palestinian reconciliation and how Gaza should be managed in the future.
  • Despite the conflicting statements from Israeli ministers, there remains ongoing communication between the relevant parties. Qatari and Egyptian diplomacy continues to seek a unified stance to advance the ceasefire deal and address the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Daily Reports
Refs: | Israel Hayom | Aljazeera |

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