Factbox-What's in the new Israel ceasefire proposal Biden announced?

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Middle East at the White House in Washington

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday laid out a three-phase ceasefire proposal from Israel to Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to end the war in Gaza that has killed tens of thousands and caused a humanitarian crisis.

The offer calls for a ceasefire, the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza.

A senior U.S. official said the four-and-a-half page plan had been sent to Hamas for review on Thursday, and that it was "almost identical" to a proposal the militant group had already accepted. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Friday that it backed the plan.

Here are the three phases as described by Biden in a speech and by U.S. officials at a briefing held later.

PHASE ONE: CEASEFIRE, LIMITED HOSTAGE RELEASE AND ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL

Biden said the first phase of Israel's offer would last for six weeks and would include a "full and complete" ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from "all populated areas" of Gaza and the "release of a number of hostages including women, the elderly, the wounded in exchange for release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners."

Biden added that in this phase, Palestinian civilians will return to their homes and neighborhoods in all areas of Gaza, while humanitarian assistance will increase to 600 trucks carrying aid into Gaza every day.

"With a ceasefire, that aid could be safely and effectively distributed to all who need it. Hundreds of thousands of temporary shelters, including housing units could be delivered by the international community," Biden added, saying the first phase could begin immediately after a deal is reached.

The first phase will also include talks between Israel and Hamas to get to the next stage of the proposal.

PHASE TWO: RELEASE OF ALL HOSTAGES, FULL ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL

Biden called the second phase "a permanent end to hostilities." However, he added that the negotiations to arrive at the second phase could take longer than six weeks as there were going to be differences between the two sides.

"Israel will want to make sure its interests are protected but the proposal says if the negotiations take longer than six weeks from phase one, the ceasefire will still continue for as long as negotiations continue," Biden said, which would mark a new development from previous proposals.

He added that the U.S., Qatar and Egypt will ensure that talks continue during this period until "all agreements are reached" to start the second phase.

The second phase would see a release of all remaining hostages who are alive, including male soldiers, while Israeli forces will withdraw from Gaza, according to Biden. He added: "And as long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire will become - in the words of the Israeli proposal - the cessation of hostilities permanently."

PHASE THREE: RECONSTRUCTION, BODIES RETURNED

In the third phase, Biden said "a major reconstruction plan for Gaza would commence and any final remains of hostages who have been killed would be returned to their families."

Biden said Israel had "devastated Hamas forces over the past eight months," adding: "At this point, Hamas no longer is capable of carrying out another Oct. 7."

In the deal to rebuild Gaza, Arab nations and the international community will also participate in a "manner that does not allow Hamas to rearm," Biden said. He added Washington will work with its partners to rebuild homes, schools and hospitals in Gaza, where the war has displaced nearly the entire 2.3 million population and caused widespread hunger.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons and Deepa Babington)