In statement after Biden speech, PM says Israeli proposal would bring about Hamas’s end, release of all hostages

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on May 27, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on May 27, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In a statement issued immediately after US President Joe Biden’s speech calling on Hamas to accept the latest hostage deal proposal and Israel’s leaders to stand behind it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says, “The Israeli government is united in the desire to return our hostages as soon as possible and is working to achieve this goal.”

“Therefore, the prime minister authorized the negotiating team to present an outline for achieving this goal, while insisting that the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved, including the return of all our hostages and the elimination of Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities,” Netanyahu’s office says.

“The exact outline proposed by Israel, including the conditional transition from stage to stage, allows Israel to maintain these principles,” the statement adds.

Netanyahu’s office doesn’t clarify whether its proposal is the same one described by Biden during his speech — and doesn’t refer directly to Biden’s speech at all.

Asked whether the deal described by Netanyahu’s office is the same one Biden laid out in his speech, a senior administration official briefing reporters avoids answering directly.

“I have no doubt that the deal will be characterized by Israel and will be characterized by Hamas, but we know what’s in the deal. We know what the expectations are,” the official says.

“Often these deals are characterized by those who might not want to see the deal,” the official says earlier on in the briefing.

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