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Biden's cease-fire plan tightens political squeeze for Netanyahu in Israel

TEL AVIV - Political pressure is mounting on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as more than 100,000 Israelis flooded the streets of this city on Saturday night demanding he accept a U.S.-brokered deal for a cease-fire in Gaza while members of his far-right coalition threatened that any such move would bring down the government.

The proposal, revealed in a surprise speech by President Biden on Friday, calls for a six-week pause in fighting, during which hostages taken from Israel by Hamas would be released in phases in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, and there would be a significant boost in aid shipments to the Gaza Strip. The key sticking point - the same one that has doomed past negotiations - is how and when the war will officially end.

Netanyahu's office said Friday that it had "authorized" the text of the proposal. On Saturday, however, it added that "Israel's conditions for ending the war have not changed" and that any deal that does not allow for the complete destruction of Hamas, the release of all hostages and the end of Gaza's security threat to Israel was a "non-starter."


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