US President Joe Biden on Friday said Israel had proposed a Gaza ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages, and called on Hamas to agree to the new offer, saying it was the best way to end the conflict.

"It's time for this war to end and for the day after to begin," said Biden, who is under election-year pressure to stop the Gaza conflict, now in its eighth month.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli prime minister's office or from Hamas on Biden's remarks.

The new proposal Biden laid out Friday is made up of three phases; the first would be a ceasefire lasting for six weeks.

During this time, Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza and hostages, including the elderly and women, would be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Palestinian civilians would return to Gaza, including northern Gaza, and 600 trucks would bring humanitarian aid into Gaza each day, Biden said.

In the second phase, Hamas and Israel would negotiate terms of a permanent end to hostilities. "The ceasefire will still continue as long as negotiations continue," the president said.

The third phase would include a major reconstruction plan for Gaza.

The proposal has been relayed to Hamas by Qatar, Biden said.

The president called on those in Israel who were pushing for "indefinite" war to change their minds.

"I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan. And will call for the war to continue indefinitely. Some are even in the government coalition. They've made it clear. They want to occupy Gaza. They want to keep fighting for years and hostages are not a priority for them. Well, I've urged leadership in Israel to stand behind this deal, despite whatever pressure comes," Biden said.

Several Israeli media outlets described Biden's speech on Friday as dramatic and interpreted it as an attempt to appeal directly to the Israeli public.

An earlier hostage proposal put forward this year called for the release of sick, elderly and wounded hostages in Gaza in exchange for a six-week ceasefire that could be extended to allow for more aid to be delivered into the enclave.

That proposed deal fell apart earlier last month after Israel refused to agree to Hamas' demand for a permanent end to the war as part of the negotiations and ramped up an assault on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Hamas said on Thursday it had told mediators it would not take part in more negotiations during ongoing aggression but was ready for a "complete agreement," including an exchange of hostages and prisoners, if Israel stopped the war.

The week has been dominated by the fallout from an Israeli airstrike in Rafah on Sunday that killed 45 Palestinians.

"The Palestinian people have endured sheer hell in this war," Biden said Friday. "We all saw the terrible images from the deadly fire in Rafah earlier this week, following an Israeli strike... targeting Hamas."

Palestinian health authorities said more than 36,280 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel attacked the enclave on Oct 7.
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