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Israel begrudgingly accepts Biden’s Gaza deal: ‘Not a good plan’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on Sunday reluctantly accepted President Biden’s Gaza ceasefire proposal.

Biden announced the plan on Friday, which Netanyahu initially rejected, and Hamas has indicated it supports the plan but no formal agreement has been reached.

“It’s a deal that we reached. It’s not a good deal, but we really want all the hostages released,” Ophir Falk, Netanyahu’s chief foreign policy adviser, said of Biden’s plan in an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times.

“There are many details to be worked out,” he said, adding that Israel remained committed to “the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organization.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Biden’s pledge to withhold arms sales to Israel would lead to civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. ((Fox News/Getty Images))

Israeli army announces end of fighting in parts of northern Gaza

Netanyahu’s office initially pushed back against Biden’s plan in a statement on Saturday, saying Israel’s conditions for ending the war — the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities, the release of all hostages and a guarantee that Gaza will no longer be a threat to Israel — remained unchanged.

“It is not possible that Israel would agree to a permanent ceasefire before these conditions are met,” his office wrote.

But Biden’s plan appears to acknowledge that Hamas will continue to have a presence and play some role in Gaza.

In a White House speech on Friday, President Biden outlined a “road map for a lasting ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” which he said was the result of intensive diplomatic negotiations conducted by a U.S. team with leaders of Israel, Qatar, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.

Israeli army announces end of fighting in parts of northern Gaza

In a statement on Saturday, Hamas said it supported the president’s plan, particularly “his call for a permanent ceasefire; [Israeli] “Withdrawal of troops from the Gaza Strip, reconstruction, and prisoner exchange.”

Israel Defense Forces prepare for Operation Rafah

In a White House speech on Friday, President Biden outlined a “road map for a lasting ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” which he said was the result of intensive diplomatic negotiations conducted by a U.S. team with leaders of Israel, Qatar, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. (Photo by Noam Shaar/TPS)

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Biden said in his speech that the plan has three phases. The first phase, which will take six weeks, will see a complete ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from populated areas of the Gaza Strip, and the release of many of the hostages. In return, Israel will release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and allow Gaza civilians throughout the Gaza Strip to return to their homes and neighborhoods.

Fox News’ Ruth Marks Eglash and Reuters contributed to this report.

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