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Biden Calls for End to Gaza War, Endorsing Israeli Cease-Fire Proposal

WorldBiden Calls for End to Gaza War, Endorsing Israeli Cease-Fire Proposal

Declaring Hamas no longer capable of carrying out a major terrorist attack on Israel, President Biden said on Friday that it was time for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and endorsed a new plan he said Israel had offered to win the release of hostages and end the fighting.

“It’s time for this war to end, for the day after to begin,” Mr. Biden said, speaking from the State Dining Room at the White House. He also gave a stark description of Hamas’s diminished capabilities after more than seven months of Israeli attacks, saying that “at this point, Hamas is no longer capable of carrying out another Oct. 7.”

“This is truly a decisive moment,” Mr. Biden said. “Israel has made their proposal. Hamas says it wants a cease-fire. This deal is an opportunity to prove whether they really mean it.”

With that statement, Mr. Biden appeared to be revealing his true agenda: making public elements of the proposal in an effort to pressure both Hamas and Israel to break out of a monthslong deadlock that has resulted in the killing of thousands of Palestinians.

American officials have described Hamas’s leader, Yahya Sinwar, as interested only in his own survival and that of his family and inner circle, as they presumably operate from tunnels deep under southern Gaza. But officials have also said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has little incentive to move to a real cease-fire, because of the widespread belief in Israel that as soon as the surviving hostages are returned, and a last cease-fire begins, he will most likely lose his fragile hold on power.

Mr. Biden’s remarks came at a pivotal moment in his re-election campaign, a day after his rival, former President Donald J. Trump, was convicted of 34 felony charges. At the same time, he has been facing growing pressure at home over the bloodshed in Gaza, which has led to eruptions on college campuses and on the streets of American cities, and alienated many of his own supporters.

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