Biden reveals Israel's proposal for Gaza ceasefire, Hamas positive

US President Joe Biden has unveiled a new proposal by Israel for a ceasefire in its conflict against the Islamic group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has shown a positive response.

Biden revealed the three-phase plan at the White House on Friday, saying "It's time for this war to end."

Biden said the first phase would last for weeks. It would include: a "full and complete" ceasefire; withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza; return of hostages including women, the elderly and the wounded in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

He said that in the second phase, there would be an exchange for the release of all remaining living hostages, and the permanent cessation of hostilities.

Biden said a major reconstruction plan would start in phase three.

The president said the Israeli proposal has been conveyed to Hamas by Qatar intermediaries.

He said that this "sets the stage for a political settlement that provides a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike."

Hamas stated the same day that it approved the content of Biden's speech. It said it was ready to deal "positively and constructively" with any proposal based on a permanent ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, reconstruction, the return of displaced people, and the completion of a prisoner exchange if Israel clearly commits to such a deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office said in a statement that he had authorized the negotiating team to present an outline for achieving the release of captives, while insisting that the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved, including the return of all hostages and the elimination of the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas.

It said the outline proposed by Israel, including the conditional transition from stage to stage, allows it to maintain those principles.