Biden Calls on G7 Leaders to Encourage Hamas to Agree to Cease-Fire Deal

President Joe Biden is set to urge fellow leaders of the Group of Seven nations to support cease-fire negotiations and encourage Hamas to accept a proposal backed by Israel, according to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Thursday.

During a meeting of G7 leaders in southern Italy, Sullivan told reporters that the global community should push Hamas to accept the proposal to avoid a stalemate.

Israel is in favor of a cease-fire proposal for the eight-month-old conflict in Gaza, with the aim of bridging gaps with Hamas and reaching a deal soon, Sullivan stated.

While Hamas has welcomed the cease-fire proposal, they insist on a permanent end to the war and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, a demand that Israel rejects. Israel has deemed Hamas’s response to the U.S. peace proposal as a total rejection.

Efforts to arrange a cease-fire have failed since a brief truce in November, with Hamas holding onto their demands. Sullivan mentioned that Hamas has submitted an amended proposal with some changes that could be negotiated, along with other points that do not align with Biden’s plan or the U.N. Security Council’s stance.

Sullivan emphasized that Israel stands behind Biden’s cease-fire proposal from May 31, noting that no Israeli leader has challenged the deal. Discussions will continue with Qatar and Egypt to work towards an agreement with Hamas swiftly.

Biden is expected to update G7 leaders on the cease-fire negotiations and seek their support for the process, highlighting the broader implications for tensions between Israel and Lebanon.

Additionally, Biden will address the increasing strikes by Hezbollah extending into Israel, including civilian areas, and how a Gaza cease-fire could help bring calm to the region. G7 leaders will also discuss the ongoing threat posed by Iran in terms of support for proxy forces and the Iranian nuclear program.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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