Sunak urges Hamas to accept Biden ceasefire plan

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Sunak urges Hamas to accept Biden ceasefire plan

Aide to PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims proposal is 'a deal we agreed to — it's not a good deal but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Palestinians receive aid packs from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Palestinians receive aid packs from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for Hamas to accept a framework deal for ending the Gaza war adding the UK would then “flood” the war-torn region with “far more aid”.

Sunak said he believed U.S. President Joe Biden’s three-phased plan is “welcome news.”

On the election campaign trail in Redcar, Sunak said: “I hope Hamas take this opportunity to conclude the deal that’s on the table, which will ensure that the hostages can be released and be back with their families, that we can flood Gaza with far more aid than we’ve been getting in.”

His message echoed that of Labour leader Keir Starmer who had earlier said “This is our message: that ceasefire needs to be in place, it needs to be in place straight away, and it needs to provide the space for hostages to come out… But also aid needs to get in – desperately needed aid.”

Sunak shared this news during a barnstorming and passionate speech to the annual CST dinner on Wednesday night

In a video statement posted on X, Lord Cameron also said: “It’s absolutely vital that we use the stop in the fighting to build a sustainable permanent ceasefire and a political solution to this long-running problem. And that is possible if everyone plays their part.”

Meanwhile, an aide to Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel had accepted a framework deal for ending the Gaza war, which has been advanced by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Ophir Falk, chief foreign policy advisor described the phased deal as flawed and in need of much more work.

But in an interview with the Sunday Times, Falk said Biden’s plan was “a deal we agreed to — it’s not a good deal but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them”.

“There are a lot of details to be worked out,” he said, stressing Israeli conditions, including “the release of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas as a genocidal terrorist organisation” were still central to any deal.

Lord Cameron added: “Clearly, a number of conditions are going to have to be fulfilled. It’s clear that Gaza cannot be ruled by Hamas and that Israel needs guarantees about security. But it’s also clear we need to support the Palestinian Authority and set out the parameters of what a Palestinian state would look like.”

He concluded: “All of us have to seize this opportunity and stop the killing and bring this conflict to an end.”

But the Israeli prime minister insisted there would be no permanent truce until Hamas’s military and governing capabilities were destroyed and all hostages released.

Two far-right Israeli ministers -Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir – threatened to collapse the governing coalition if Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees to a Gaza ceasefire.

Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich and and Arnon Ben Dor, Chairman of the Histadrut hold a joint press conference in Tel Aviv, March 2, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Smotrich said he told Netanyahu he would “not be part of a government that agrees to the proposed outline and ends the war without destroying Hamas and bringing back all the hostages”.

Echoing his words Ben-Gvir said “the deal.. means the end of the war and the abandonment of the goal to destroy Hamas. This is a reckless deal, which constitutes a victory for terrorism and a security threat to the State of Israel”.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid pledged to back the government if Mr Netanyahu supported the plan.

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv, calling on the Israeli government to accept Mr Biden’s proposed plan.

The Israeli proposal features three phases, starting with a six-week “full and complete ceasefire”.

The Israeli government would withdraw its forces from populated areas of Gaza, the AP news agency reported yesterday, and Hamas would release a number of hostages in exchange for the release of some Palestinian prisoners.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Hamas leader Sinwar. Courtesy: X

Humanitarian assistance would surge during the first phase, with 600 trucks allowed into Gaza each day.

In the second phase, Hamas would release all remaining living hostages, and Israel would withdraw its forces from other areas of Gaza.

“And as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, the temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the Israeli proposals, ‘the cessation of hostilities permanently’,” Biden said.

In the third phase, parties would launch a rebuilding programme in Gaza.

But in a statement on their website Hamas appeared to veer away from backing the deal.

The statement and the American President’s call to reach an agreement “is positive, but an agreement cannot be reached with mere hopes. We need clear texts that achieve what we want and what we said, and that the Israeli accepts them openly and frankly and not in a way of evasion, or a way through which he can evade any commitment.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: