On Tuesday, the Israeli War Cabinet presented a ceasefire proposal to end the current military operations in Gaza to a group of government ministers, according to a report by The Wall St. Journal. The plan was also reportedly shown to representatives from the United States and the European Union.
The Qatari and Egyptian-mediated overture consists of a three-stage implementation schedule that would lead to the cessation of fighting, the withdrawal of IDF units from Gaza, the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for security prisoners held by Israel, the introduction of additional humanitarian aid to the warzone, and the formation of a post-war reconstruction government in the coastal enclave.
The agreement also calls for Palestinians to hold presidential and parliamentary elections to eventually replace the interim government. There is no indication as to what would happen if parties with terrorist affiliations achieved any electoral success.
The arrangement comes in the wake of recent statements made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that reiterated his country’s commitment to eradicating Jerusalem’s primary opponent in the conflict, the Hamas terrorist organization. Visiting Israeli Army personnel on Monday, the Prime Minister stated, “We’re not stopping, the war continues until the end.”
Netanyahu has been under continued public pressure to find a solution to the hostage situation, and how to mitigate the IDF’s increasing casualty numbers.
A senior Hamas official, Izzat Rishq, issued a statement in response to the proposition saying that there would be no negotiation without a “complete end to the aggression,” and that a “temporary or partial truce for a short period of time,” is not acceptable to his superiors.
The war was initiated on Oct. 7 when Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel resulting in the massacre of some 1,200 people and the kidnapping of over 240. The death toll was the worst violence committed against Jewish people since the Holocaust.