Protesters Tell Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu To Approve US Ceasefire Deal, Release Hostages

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An estimated 120,000 people are believed to have rallied in Tel Aviv to pressure Israel’s government to approve a deal outlined by Joe Biden – while two far-right ministers have threatened to resign if the proposal is accepted.

Tens of thousands of protesters have rallied in Tel Aviv to call for the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu and the immediate release of hostages.

An estimated 120,000 people took to the streets of the Israeli city to call on the far-right governing coalition to accept a ceasefire deal outlined by Joe Biden on Friday, according to local media.

The deal would see the staggered release of hostages captured on 7 October – the day of Hamas’s unprecedented attack on southern Israel, which killed 1,200 people – in return for a gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from the besieged enclave of Gaza.

A water cannon was also reportedly deployed for the protest – believed to have been the biggest demonstration against Mr Netanyahu’s government since 7 October – but not used.

Families of hostages said time to get their loved ones back was running out as they gathered in different cities across Israel.

About 120 of the 252 people taken are believed to still be in captivity since 7 October, an attack that prompted a retaliatory Israeli military campaign on Gaza which has left the territory in ruins, led to widespread starvation and killed more than 36,000 people, according to Palestinian health authorities.

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Besides the ongoing protests by families of hostages, Mr Netanyahu is also facing pressure from within his own circles as two far-right members of his coalition threatened to withdraw from the government if he went ahead with a deal that ended the war without destroying Hamas.

Hamas said on Friday it was ready to engage “positively and in a constructive manner”.

But senior official Mahmoud Mardawi told Qatari television it had not yet received details of the proposal.

Families described an aggressive meeting on Thursday with Israel’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, who told them the government wasn’t ready to sign a deal to bring all hostages home and there was no plan B.

The second phase would include the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

The third phase calls for the start of a major reconstruction of Gaza, which faces decades of rebuilding from the war’s devastation.

Meanwhile, US forces on Saturday destroyed one Iran-backed Houthi uncrewed aerial system in the southern Red Sea and saw two others crash into Red Sea, US Central Command said.

The Central Command forces also destroyed two Houthi anti-ship ballistic missiles fired in direction of the USS Gravely, it said.

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No injuries or damage were reported by US, coalition or commercial ships, it said

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