US Sees No Clear Path to End Gaza Conflict

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.20 - 2024 12:21 PM CET

US officials are skeptical that Israel and Hamas will reach a peace deal in Gaza.

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Officials from President Joe Biden's administration doubt that Israel and Hamas will agree to a ceasefire in Gaza under the current conditions.

This information comes from four American officials who spoke to Politico anonymously.

According to two officials, Israel and Hamas are fundamentally at odds over how to end the war, making any prospect of a deal unlikely.

The first phase of a proposed six-week ceasefire involves Israeli troops leaving populated areas of Gaza and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Both sides generally agree on these terms, but the second phase is a major problem.

It requires negotiating an end to all hostilities and the release of remaining hostages.

Hamas demands Israel fully withdraw its troops from Gaza, while Israel insists on defeating Hamas before any full withdrawal.

Politico notes that Hamas will not sign even the initial ceasefire agreement unless Israel agrees to their demands. This lack of compromise from both sides has led US officials to believe the fighting could continue for several more months.

"I think it will last at least until the end of 2024," one official said.

Recent Developments

Last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed his commitment to a proposed ceasefire in Gaza.

This plan, announced by President Biden, involves three stages, including releasing all hostages and stopping all fighting.

However, the plan has faced criticism due to the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties from Israel's military actions. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to stop its operation in Rafah immediately, but Israel ignored this order.

The European Union has expressed support for the ceasefire plan proposed by President Biden between Israel and Hamas.