Blinken Calls on Regional Countries to Pressure Hamas to Accept Biden’s Proposal

Hamas says it views Biden's proposal for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip positively.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called, during phone talks with his Saudi, Jordanian, and Turkish counterparts, for pressure on Hamas to push it to accept the new Israeli roadmap announced by President Joe Biden on Friday to end the war in the Gaza Strip, according to Washington.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Blinken had, on his way back from a NATO meeting in Prague, phone calls with his three counterparts, emphasizing “the need for Hamas to accept the agreement without delay.”

He stressed that “the proposal is in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians and the long-term security of the region.”

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the phone call received by Minister Faisal bin Farhan from Blinken “touched on the proposal announced by Biden regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip and the exchange deal and its stages of completion.”

In this context, he expressed the kingdom’s support for all efforts aimed at obtaining an immediate ceasefire, the complete withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces, the provision of urgent humanitarian aid to civilians affected by the Israeli escalation, and the safe return of displaced people to their homes, stressing “the need to seriously address any proposal that achieves a permanent ceasefire and ends the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Saturday Israel’s commitment to “eliminating Hamas‘s military capabilities,” emphasizing that this condition is included in the proposal announced by Biden.

In a statement, he said, “Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: eliminating Hamas‘s military capabilities and its ability to govern, freeing all hostages, and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel,” adding that “according to the proposal, Israel will continue to insist on meeting these conditions before a permanent ceasefire takes effect.”

Biden announced on Friday that Israel had proposed a “new roadmap” towards lasting peace in Gaza, calling on Hamas to accept the agreement because “the time has come to end this war.” He added that “this roadmap presented to Hamas on Thursday through Qatar represents an opportunity that should not be missed.”

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Hamas “must accept” the ceasefire agreement announced by US President Joe Biden.

Cameron wrote on the “X” site: “With this new proposal, Hamas must accept this deal so we can see an end to the fighting, the release of hostages, their return to their families, and the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

He continued: “As we have said, a stop in the fighting must turn into lasting peace if we are all ready to take the right steps.” The British news agency (PA Media) quoted him as saying: “Let’s seize this moment and end this conflict.”

Hamas said on Friday it views positively the proposal announced by President Biden for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Biden had earlier proposed a three-phase ceasefire plan, conveyed from Israel to Hamas to end the war in Gaza. The war has killed tens of thousands and caused a humanitarian crisis.

In a statement, Hamas affirmed its readiness to deal positively and constructively with any proposal based on a permanent ceasefire, the complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction, and the return of displaced people to all their places of residence, and to conclude a serious exchange deal for prisoners if the occupation commits to this explicitly.

Hamas‘s stance indicates a shift from its position in recent months, where it accused the United States of bias towards Israel and blocking ceasefire attempts.

A Palestinian official close to the mediation efforts said, “Hamas sees that Biden‘s position now puts more pressure on Israel to return to negotiations with a different stance; otherwise, it (Israel) risks clashing with the Americans.”

Biden clarified that the first phase, lasting six weeks, includes “a full and complete ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas in Gaza, the release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, and the injured, and in exchange, the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.”

Among those released by Hamas in this phase will be American hostages in the Gaza Strip, Biden confirmed Washington’s desire for their return.

Palestinians will be allowed to return to their “homes and neighborhoods” across the Gaza Strip, including northern areas that suffered the most destruction from Israeli bombing and fierce battles.

Simultaneously, the amount of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip will be increased to 600 trucks daily, while international parties will work to provide hundreds of thousands of housing units and temporary shelters.

Biden emphasized that the Israeli and Palestinian sides will negotiate during those six weeks for a permanent ceasefire, but the truce will continue as long as talks are ongoing, confirming that the United States, Qatar, and Egypt will work to ensure this.

According to the second phase, which also lasts about six weeks, Israeli soldiers will completely withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

In exchange, Hamas will release “all remaining hostages,” including soldiers, a point that had been a point of contention with Hamas in previous negotiations.

Biden insisted that “as long as Hamas meets its commitments, the temporary ceasefire will become, according to the Israeli proposal, a permanent cessation of hostilities.”

The third phase includes a vast reconstruction and stabilization operation for the Gaza Strip with support from the United States and the international community. Biden confirmed that homes, schools, and hospitals will be rebuilt.

He also stressed that he would work with regional partners to ensure that Hamas does not “rearm.”

A senior US official explained that the reconstruction phase would extend for three to five years. The third phase will also include the return of the remains of the remaining hostages.


With the mediation of Qatar, Egypt, and the United States, Hamas and Israel have been conducting indirect negotiations for months to reach a prisoner exchange agreement and a ceasefire for the war in Gaza that began on October 7, 2023.

For two days, Cairo hosted the latest round of negotiations before the Hamas and Israeli delegations left the Egyptian capital on May 9 without announcing an agreement.

The Israeli war on Gaza has left more than 118,000 Palestinians dead and injured, most of them children and women, and about 10,000 missing amidst massive destruction and famine that claimed the lives of children and the elderly.

Israel continues this war, ignoring a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and orders from the International Court of Justice demanding an end to its attack on Rafah and taking immediate measures to prevent “genocide” and “improve the humanitarian situation” in Gaza.

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