Sullivan says "there could be a cease-fire tomorrow" if "Hamas would say yes to the deal"


Washington — National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that “now is the moment” for a cease-fire in the war in Gaza, urging Hamas to accept a deal with Israel. 

“There could be a cease-fire tomorrow, today even, if Hamas would say yes to the deal,” Sullivan said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”  

Negotiators from the U.S., Qatar and Egypt have been working toward an agreement between Israel and Hamas that would start to  bring an end to the war. Meanwhile, four Israeli hostages taken by Hamas were rescued by Israeli security forces during a raid in central Gaza on Saturday, which came with U.S. support, mainly in the form of intelligence. And negotiations are ongoing for the remaining hostages’ release, which include five U.S. citizens. 

Sullvan said that the “most effective, certain and right way” to return all of the hostages is with a “comprehensive cease-fire and hostage deal” that President Biden has highlighted in recent days and Israel has accepted. 

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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on “Face the Nation,” June 9, 2024.

CBS News


If Hamas would say yes to that deal, there would be a cease-fire in place, hostages would be coming home, more humanitarian aid would be surging in, and a better day for the Palestinian people would begin to unfold,” Sullivan said. “So what we would like to see is for that deal to get into place, because it is the surest way to get the hostages home.”

But there have been accusations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the holdout to a deal, which Mr. Biden acknowledged in a recent interview with Time. When asked whether Netanyahu is prolonging the conflict for political purposes, the president answered that “there is every reason for people to draw that conclusion.”

The latest offer would involve releasing vulnerable hostages and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention facilities, coupled with a six-week cessation of violence and a surge of humanitarian aid. 

Mr. Biden outlined the proposal late last month, which he said is “a roadmap to an enduring cease-fire and the release of all hostages.” More broadly, the proposal would have three phases, with the later phases including negotiating a permanent end to hostilities and the initiation of a major reconstruction plan for Gaza. 

When asked whether the raid that returned the four Israeli hostages could imperil the chances of any diplomatic agreement, Sullivan said he couldn’t predict Hamas’ calculus, but urged that “the whole world is looking to Hamas to say yes, because for all those people, for all these months who have been calling for a cease-fire, now is the moment.” In the operation that led to the return of the four hostages, the Hamas-run government media office in Gaza said 246 Palestinians were killed and over 400 were injured.

“There is only one answer to all of this, and it’s the answer I keep coming back to, which is a cease-fire and hostage deal that would end the suffering, end the conflict, end the war, and bring all of the hostages home,” Sullivan said. “So it’s time for Hamas to come to the table, say yes, and let’s end all of the suffering that is taking place in Gaza right now.”

The developments come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24. Sullivan said he’s hopeful that by the time that happens, a cease-fire and hostage deal will be in place. 



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