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Montevideo, June 24th 2024 - 16:08 UTC

 

 

Blinken starts Middle East tour to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

Monday, June 10th 2024 - 21:52 UTC
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“Deal or no deal, it remains absolutely essential that we get more aid to Palestinians who need it,” Blinken said “Deal or no deal, it remains absolutely essential that we get more aid to Palestinians who need it,” Blinken said

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Monday kicked off his new Middle East tour in Cairo. He is believed to be seeking a ceasefire in Gaza eight months into the conflict triggered by the terrorist group Hamas' invasion of Israel killing over a thousand people and taking some 250 others hostage, of whom about 50% have been either rescued or handed back over to their land. It is yet to be known how many of them are still alive. Blinken reportedly plans to broker their release.

The US official is to talk with Egyptian President Abdelfatah al Sisi, the key mediator between Israel and Hamas, before continuing to Israel, and then to Jordan and Qatar to press all parties involved to accept President Joseph Biden's proposed truce as living conditions in Gaza deteriorate rapidly given the Israeli forces deployment to save their own.

Biden's plan includes a cease-fire, an exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prison inmates, and a gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza in addition to a reconstruction plan for the Palestinian enclave.

Hamas has insisted it will only accept an agreement that guarantees a permanent cease-fire and a total withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian enclave while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that the war will not end until Israel fully neutralizes the pro-Palestinian terrorist group.

Centrist Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz announced Sunday his resignation over disagreements with Netanyahu over the handling of the war in Gaza. His resignation was followed by those of two other key high-ranking officials.

Israel's mission last Saturday to rescue four hostages resulted in more than 270 Palestinians killed, which has drawn condemnation among Arab countries.

According to State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller, Blinken “will discuss with partners the need to reach a cease-fire agreement that secures the release of all hostages.”

“He will also emphasize the importance of Hamas accepting the proposal on the table, which is nearly identical to one Hamas endorsed last month,” he added.

“The secretary will discuss how the cease-fire proposal would benefit both Israelis and Palestinians. He will underscore that it would alleviate suffering in Gaza, enable a massive surge in humanitarian assistance, and allow Palestinians to return to their neighborhoods,” Miller also explained in a statement.

He also pointed out that a ceasefire could also relieve tensions at Israel's northern border, where conditions have worsened following missiles launched from Lebanon by Hezbollah.

“Deal or no deal, it remains absolutely essential that we get more aid to Palestinians who need it,” Blinken said.

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