Netanyahu on Biden ‘Proposal’: Hamas Must Be Destroyed

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that Israel would not accept a ceasefire deal that prevented it from destroying Hamas, after U.S. President Joe Biden presented a so-called Israeli “proposal” that allowed Hamas to survive.

On Friday, Biden presented a proposal, which he claimed was made by Israel, for a ceasefire. The terms do not even mention Hamas, much less its disarmament, while they require Israel to withdraw and stop fighting.

Biden repeatedly claimed that the proposal came from Israel — though former President Barack Obama weighed in, stating that the proposal had been Biden’s (and implying, to some observers, that it had actually been Obama’s).

Biden also warned right-wing parties within the Israeli government not to reject the proposal, while at the same time praising the Israeli government for offering it. None of those parties could respond due to the Jewish Sabbath.

In the hours that followed, Hamas welcomed the deal, as did European leaders,while Netanyahu issued a statement suggesting that it was different from Israel’s actual proposals.

On Saturday, Netanyahu issued a further clarifying statement:

Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel. Under the proposal, Israel will continue to insist these conditions are met before a permanent ceasefire is put in place. The notion that Israel will agree to a permanent ceasefire before these conditions are fulfilled is a non-starter.

Biden’s apparent intention had been to box Israel into a deal that it never proposed by claiming that Israel had offered it, then having Hamas and the world accept it, raising the cost for Israel of dissenting from the proposal.

The strategy depends on Hamas accepting the deal, even though the terms of the deal are identical to proposals that Hamas has rejected for the past several months. Hamas may accept the deal this time, given Israeli military attacks in the last Hamas stronghold of Rafah, in southern Gaza. In the last several weeks, Israel has taken complete control of the Gaza-Egypt border, and has discovered and destroyed many miles of underground tunnels stocked with weapons.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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