President Joe Biden solemnly presented an Israeli peace offer on television:
"This new proposal has three phases (...) The first phase will last six weeks. Here’s what it would include: a complete ceasefire; a withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza; a release of a number of hostages – including women, the elderly, the wounded – in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners (...) Palestinians — civilians — would return to their homes and neighborhoods in all parts of Gaza, including the north. Humanitarian aid would increase with 600 trucks carrying aid to Gaza every day... During the six weeks of Phase 1, Israel and Hamas would negotiate the necessary arrangements to get to Phase Two, which is a permanent end to hostilities. Then, the second phase: there would be an exchange for the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers; Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza; and as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the Israeli proposal, "the permanent cessation of hostilities," end of quote. Finally, in the third phase, a vast plan to rebuild Gaza will begin. And all the last remains of hostages who were killed would be returned to their families."

• The State Department drafted a resolution and submitted it to members of the United Nations Security Council in order to support the "Israeli" proposal for a ceasefire.

• Former US President Barack Obama said: "As the tragedy in Gaza has unfolded over the past eight months, we have seen an often-fierce public debate here at home – and around the world – about how the United States should respond. But wherever each of us stands in these broader debates, a lasting ceasefire is something we should all support — for the sake of Israelis, Palestinians, and the world at large. I am deeply encouraged by the consistent and tireless efforts of President Biden, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and our diplomatic team to end this terrible war."

• The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) communicated: "President Biden has firmly accepted the Israeli offer and has made clear Hamas’ responsibility to accept the framework agreement that would bring back all hostages and end the war that the terror group backed by Iran launched when it broke a ceasefire on October 7. All members of Congress should strongly support the Israeli government’s latest efforts to guarantee the freedom of its citizens, and the United States should insist that the international community unequivocally increase pressure on Hamas to accept the terms."

• Ophir Falk, a foreign policy adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, gave an interview to The Sunday Times. According to him, by referring to the "Israeli" peace proposal, President Joe Biden made "a political speech". " There are many details to be worked out, including that there will be no permanent ceasefire until all our objectives have been met" he continued. It is "an agreement that we have agreed to. It’s not a good deal, but we sincerely want to release all hostages."

• Israel’s security minister Itamar Ben Gvir asked the prime minister to consult the document. However, a first meeting was cancelled, and Benjamin Netanyahu refused to show him any documents during the second interview, while one of his assistants exclaimed: "What plan? There is no plan."

• Gen. Benny Gantz has threatened to resign if the massacre continues, while Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich have said they will do so if the war stops. Benjamin Netanyahu therefore tries to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. Gideon Sa’ar, who has already resigned from the government, supports the same position as Jewish supremacists.

• Israel’s minister of diaspora affairs Amichai Chikli said at a meeting organized at the initiative of the Besheva settlers in Manhattan: "No one will give in to the pressure [of the Biden administration] (...) We have no choice but to continue the war and annihilate Hamas. There is no option to accept a ceasefire while Hamas is still in power."

This is the editorial from our paywalled "Voltaire, international newsletter", n°90. For more information, do not hesitate to subscribe: 150€ per year or 15€ per month.

Gregor Fröhlich