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Israeli parliament majority calls for cease-fire

Israeli parliament majority calls for cease-fire Knesset, Israel's house of representatives, in Jerusalem, June 5, 2024. (AA Photo)
By Anadolu Agency
Jun 5, 2024 5:37 PM

Seventy Israeli parliamentarians or members of the Knesset backed a Gaza peace deal proposed by the United States President Joe Biden on Friday by signing a campaign launched by families of Israelis held captive by Hamas.

The families will continue their efforts with Knesset members on Wednesday, hoping to obtain signatures of 100 lawmakers out of the 120-member Knesset, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

The families announced late Tuesday that they had received signatures from 70 Knesset members urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a prisoner swap with Hamas.

According to the daily, some Knesset members from the ruling coalition’s parties, including the Likud Party and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s far-right Religious Zionist Party, have signed on to support the Biden cease-fire proposal.

The Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) party of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, which is far-right, is the only one in the Knesset whose members did not support the cease-fire, it added.

On Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said Israel presented a three-phase deal that would end hostilities in Gaza and secure the release of hostages held in the coastal enclave. The plan includes a cease-fire, a hostage-prisoner exchange and the reconstruction of Gaza.

Israeli government ministers including Ben-Gvir and Smotrich threatened to topple the government if Netanyahu agrees on Biden’s announced cease-fire.

Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas mediated by the U.S., Qatar and Egypt have so far failed to agree on a permanent cease-fire.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 despite a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 36,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 83,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 10:48 PM
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