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Biden: Hamas no longer poses serious threat to Israel

Biden: Hamas no longer poses serious threat to Israel US President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden said on Friday that Israel has significantly reduced Hamas' military capabilities, so the militants no longer pose a serious threat to Israel, according to Politico.

He was outlining a new three-stage ceasefire proposal that Israel has offered to Hamas.

"The people of Israel should know they can make this offer without any further risk to their own security because they’ve devastated Hamas forces over the past eight months. At this point, Hamas is no longer capable of carrying out another Oct. 7," Biden said.

The first phase of the three-phase agreement will last six weeks and include a full ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all settlements in the Gaza Strip, the exchange of some Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners, and the return of the bodies of Israelis killed by Hamas, Biden said.

Palestinian civilians will also be allowed to return to their homes through the enclave. Humanitarian aid will increase, 600 trucks will transport aid to Gaza daily, he said, with hundreds of thousands of temporary shelters provided.

"All that and more would begin immediately," Biden said. After the fighting ends, the United States will work with partners to rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza, he added.

Israeli reaction

In a statement after Biden's speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed that an agreement with Hamas is on the table, but that Israel apparently considers it possible to continue the military operation in Gaza.

This proposal "would enable Israel to continue the war until all its objectives are achieved, including the destruction of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities," the statement said. "The actual proposal put forward by Israel, including the conditional transition from one phase to the next, allows Israel to uphold these principles," Politico quoted the statement.

Earlier, Biden revealed the details of the Israeli peace plan.