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Former President Barack Obama has publicly come out in support of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, endorsing a roadmap announced by President Biden.

In a statement on Friday, Obama backed the ceasefire plan, arguing that it could save lives and enhance security for both Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. He characterized the proposal as “realistic” and “just,” stressing its potential to end the conflict, secure the return of hostages, and boost humanitarian aid to the region. “It can save lives,” Obama said, noting the plan’s capacity to offer immediate relief while laying the groundwork for long-term peace.

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Obama elaborated on the need for the ceasefire, stating, “A ceasefire alone won’t ease the terrible pain of Israelis whose loved ones were butchered or abducted by Hamas, or the Palestinians whose families have been shattered by the subsequent war. It won’t resolve the longstanding conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, or answer contentious issues surrounding a two-state solution or continuing settler activity in the West Bank.” He added, “But what it can do is put a stop to the ongoing bloodshed, help families reunite and allow a surge of humanitarian aid to help desperate, hungry people. It can save lives, here and now – and it can lay the foundation for what will be a long and difficult road to a future in which Israel is secure and at peace with its neighbors, and Palestinians finally have the security, freedom and self-determination that they have sought for so long.”

Obama added, “Reflecting on the prolonged conflict and the heated debates surrounding the US response. As the tragedy in Gaza has unfolded over the past eight months, we’ve witnessed an often fierce public debate here at home — and around the world — regarding how the United States should respond. But no matter where each of us stand in these broader debates, an enduring ceasefire is something we should all support — for the sake of Israelis, Palestinians and the world at large.”

The ceasefire plan, introduced by Biden, comprises a three-phase strategy to halt hostilities and release hostages taken by Hamas during their October 7 attack on Israel, which resulted in 1,200 deaths and around 250 abductions. The plan calls for a six-week ceasefire during which the Israeli military would withdraw from Gaza and Hamas would release an initial group of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

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The second phase involves the release of all remaining hostages and a permanent cessation of hostilities.

The final phase focuses on the reconstruction of Gaza.

This proposal follows the breakdown of previous ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas and comes amid ongoing Israeli military operations in central Rafah, despite US advisories against targeting the densely populated area.


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