Airplane destroyed during fighting at Khartoum Airport in Sudan
Airplane destroyed during fighting at Khartoum Airport in SudanREUTERS

Israel, in a proposal given to the warring generals in Sudan, offered to host the two sides for Israeli-mediated talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire agreement, three Israeli Foreign Ministry officials told Barak Ravid of Axios on Monday.

Israeli officials presented the proposal to Army chief Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) head Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo — known as Hemedti — after several separate calls between Israeli officials and the two generals showed some progress, the Israeli officials said.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Ronen Levy, director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, have been sending messages and directly speaking to al-Burhan and Hemedti since the fighting started more than a week ago, urging them to implement a ceasefire, the officials told Ravid.

The Foreign Ministry officials said both al-Burhan and Hemedti didn’t rule out the Israeli proposal and gave off the impression that they were both considering it positively.

A spokesperson for the Sudanese Armed Forces and a Hemedti adviser did not immediately respond to Axios' requests for comment.

Israel coordinated its efforts with the Biden administration and countries in the region like the United Arab Emirates and briefed them about the proposal, the Foreign Ministry officials said. A US official confirmed the Biden administration was briefed on the proposal.

Cohen told Axios that since his visit to Khartoum in February, which was aimed at pushing for a peace treaty between Israel and Sudan, he has stayed in touch with different players in the country in order to strengthen relations.

“Since the fighting started in Sudan, Israel has been working in different channels in order to reach a ceasefire. The progress we have made with the two parties is very encouraging. If there will be a way that Israel could help in stopping the war and the violence in Sudan we will be very happy to do it," Cohen said.

Sudan became the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump administration in October of 2020, but only officially normalized ties with Israel during Cohen’s recent visit.

Israeli officials told Axios last week they are highly concerned that the current fighting will devastate the country, prevent the formation of a civilian government, and end any prospects for a peace agreement between Israel and Sudan, thus the motivation to mediate a ceasefire.

The fighting in Sudan erupted as growing tensions between al-Burhan and Hemedti boiled over. They both held top positions in Sudan's current military government, formed after the 2019 coup that ousted long-time leader Omar al-Bashir.

They were to merge their forces, but the RSF resisted the change, mobilizing its troops which escalated into full-scale fighting.

Several countries, including the US, evacuated their diplomatic staff and shuttered their embassies over the weekend due to the fighting.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the warring generals had agreed to a three-day ceasefire.