UN Secretary-General António Guterres last week reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during remarks at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, The Hill reported.
Guterres accused both Israel and Hamas of “ignoring international law,” violating the UN Charter, and “trampling on the Geneva Conventions.” He called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” and urged for a 2-state solution, which he claimed would lead to “sustained peace” for both Israelis and Palestinians.
The secretary-general insisted that a 2-state solution was the only way to end the “suffering” and prevent the conflict from spilling over to the entire region.
On Monday, Axios reported that Israel had proposed a 2-month ceasefire to allow for the release of the remaining hostage in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.
However, by Tuesday, a senior Egyptian official said Hamas had rejected the proposal and was demanding that Israel withdraw its forces entirely and allow Palestinian civilians to return to their homes, the Times of Israel reported.
According to Axios, Israel offered to suspend military operations for two months to allow for the phased release of the remaining 136 hostages in Gaza.
Under the Israeli proposal, the phased release would prioritize critically ill hostages along with women, children, and men over 60. A subsequent release would then prioritize all remaining civilian male hostages and female IDF soldiers, with the final phase to include the male IDF soldiers and the bodies of the dead hostages.
Israel estimates that 27 of the remaining 136 hostages are already dead.
In exchange for the release of the hostages, Israel proposed that Hamas and Israeli officials would decide in advance on the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released by Israel.
Additionally, the ceasefire proposal would have allowed top Hamas leaders, including Yahya Sinwar, to leave Gaza and move to another country.
The proposal would have also included withdrawing Israeli forces from Gaza’s main population centers while allowing the gradual return of civilians to northern Gaza.
However, Israel was clear that this proposal would not be a permanent ceasefire.