Egypt Proposes Comprehensive Plan to End Israel-Hamas Conflict

Mon Dec 25 2023
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CAIRO: In a bid to bring an end to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Egypt has presented an ambitious initial proposal that outlines a multi-faceted plan. Developed in collaboration with Qatar, the proposal includes a ceasefire, a phased release of hostages, and the creation of a Palestinian government of experts tasked with administering both Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

While the proposal has been shared with key stakeholders, including Israel, Hamas, the United States, and European governments, it is still in its preliminary stages. Notably, the proposal falls short of Israel’s expressed goal of outright crushing Hamas and may not align with Israel’s insistence on maintaining military control over Gaza for an extended period post-conflict.

Israel’s War Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to convene later today to discuss the hostage situation among other topics. The Israeli official, speaking anonymously, did not confirm whether the Egyptian proposal would be on the agenda.

Israel Bombs Gaza on Christmas Day

The proposal emerges against the backdrop of three intense days of violence leading up to Christmas, marked by Israeli airstrikes causing dozens of Palestinian casualties across Gaza. The toll of the conflict continues to mount, with over 20,424 Palestinians killed and almost the entire population of Gaza displaced.

The proposed plan outlines an initial ceasefire lasting up to two weeks, during which Hamas would release 40 to 50 hostages. In return, Israel would release 120-150 Palestinians from its prisons. Negotiations would continue, addressing the extension of the ceasefire, additional hostage releases.

Furthermore, Egypt and Qatar would collaborate with all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to establish a government of experts. This transitional government would govern Gaza and the occupied West Bank while factions resolve internal disputes and formulate a roadmap for presidential and parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, negotiations would continue between Israel and Hamas for a comprehensive “all-for-all” deal, encompassing the release of all remaining hostages, withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza, and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody.

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