US Invites Netanyahu to Congress as Biden Calls on Hamas to Accept Israel’s Peace Proposal

President Biden urged Hamas to accept the peace offer from Israel, however doubts have arisen around the specifics and origin of the proposed deal. 

“The Israeli government is united in the desire to return our hostages as soon as possible and is working to achieve this goal,” a statement from Israeli Prime Minister ’s office read. 

“Therefore, the Prime Minister authorized the negotiating team to present an outline for achieving this goal, while insisting that the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved, including the return of all our hostages and the ,” the statement continued. 

“The exact outline proposed by Israel, including the conditional transition between the stages, allows Israel to maintain these principles,” the statement concluded. 

Shortly after Biden’s announcement, Congress extended an invitation to Netanyahu to address a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, citing the “existential challenges” the two nations face, including increased . 

“To build on our enduring relationship and to highlight America’s solidarity with Israel, we invite you to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combating terror and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region,” the letter declared. 

Biden spoke about the Israel-Gaza war from the White House on Friday, highlighting the need for an end to the conflict and the establishment of peace. 

He outlined a three-tiered ceasefire plan proposed by Israel, which has been after extensive negotiations involving Israel, Qatar, Egypt and “other Middle Eastern countries.” 

Uncertainty arose regarding the alignment of the plans mentioned by Biden and Netanyahu, with some suggesting Netanyahu’s language hinted at two separate plans being discussed. However, a National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson confirmed that the plans were indeed one and the same. 

Biden described Israel’s proposal as “comprehensive” and a “roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages”: Phase one would span six weeks and involve the withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza, the release of several hostages – including Americans – in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and the return of deceased hostages’ remains to their families. 

Biden further stated that the deal would enable 600 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter Gaza “every single day,” providing essential assistance to those in need. Concurrently, negotiations would continue to facilitate the transition from Phase One to Phase Two, which would involve the release of all remaining living hostages, followed by a comprehensive reconstruction plan for Gaza in Phase Three. 

“I want to level with you today as to where we are and what might be possible, but I need your help: Everyone who wants peace now must raise their voices,” Biden said. “Let the leaders know they should take this deal, work to make it real, make it lasting, and forge a better future out of the tragic terror attack and war.”

“It’s time to begin this new stage, for the hostages to come home, for Israel to be secure, for the suffering to stop,” he added, emphasizing the critical juncture Hamas faces. 

Despite the optimism, skepticism persists, with concerns that the proposal may allow Hamas to avoid complete annihilation rather than bring an end to the conflict.  

“What the president outlined was a pathway for Hamas to survive, rebuild and one day be capable of launching another October 7, while allowing Hezbollah to remain an even greater threat on Israel’s northern border,” Richard Goldberg, a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Digital.