Israeli proposal set out by Biden would enable Israel to achieve its declared war goals, senior source says

File - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes a meeting of the war cabinet in Tel Aviv, early morning on April 14, 2024. (Courtesy)
File - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes a meeting of the war cabinet in Tel Aviv, early morning on April 14, 2024. (Courtesy)

Hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an English statement, said that the idea of Israel ending the war without all its declared goals achieved was a “non-starter,” a senior Israeli source takes a more upbeat tone and indicates to Hebrew media that the Israeli proposal set out last night by President Biden indeed provides for the achievement of those goals.

As quoted by Channel 13 news, the unnamed source says, “Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: To destroy Hamas’s military and governance capabilities, to free all the hostages and to ensure that Gaza will not again constitute a threat to Israel. The framework for freeing the hostages enables Israel to demand that all these demands are achieved before a permanent ceasefire comes into force.”

Channel 13 further reports that Netanyahu 10 days ago indeed allowed Israel’s negotiating team to discuss a “prolonged ceasefire” in its indirect negotiations with Hamas on a deal, and that Biden’s speech in part constituted the “outing” of the Israeli proposal as approved by the war cabinet several days ago.

It also says the military censor in recent days prevented publication of aspects of Israel’s position.

Reports in recent days and weeks have asserted that all or almost all of the war cabinet — Ministers Yoav Gallant and Benny Gantz, observer ministers Gadi Eisenkott and Ron Dermer, and the various security chiefs — backed the proposal drawn up by the negotiating team last month and that Netanyahu, who initially opposed the language on a ceasefire, reluctantly endorsed it.

Several Hebrew media outlets tonight present various accounts of how much notice the White House gave the PMO of the specifics of the president’s speech, with Channel 12 saying the White House gave the PMO and Ambassador Mike Herzog some specifics about two or three hours before Biden spoke, and Channel 13 claiming some in the PMO were angered that Israel was not substantively updated.

Meanwhile, Channel 12 news quotes a senior Israeli source saying that the Biden administration, by spelling out the details of the Israeli proposal, has essentially “torn up all the cards” and forced Israel’s leadership to take a clear stance. The US has essentially made clear to Israel, the source says, “that if you say no, you’ll bear the consequences. It won’t matter what we [the US] choose to do or how Hamas responds. This speech will reshape the rules of the game.”

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