Blinken Confirms Netanyahu’s Commitment to Gaza Ceasefire Proposal

Tue Jun 11 2024
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TEL AVIV, Israel: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “reaffirmed his commitment” to a Gaza ceasefire proposal during their meeting in Jerusalem.

Blinken emphasized that Hamas’s positive response to a UN vote on the US-drafted ceasefire resolution is an encouraging sign.

“It is a hopeful sign, just as the statement issued after President Biden made his proposal 10 days ago was hopeful,” Blinken noted. “But it’s not dispositive. What matters is the word coming from Gaza and Hamas leadership. That’s what counts, and we don’t have that yet. We await Hamas’s answer.”

Late on Monday, Hamas welcomed the UN Security Council’s vote to adopt a resolution supporting the ceasefire plan.

The UNSC adopted a US-drafted resolution supporting President Joe Biden’s proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. This resolution outlines a three-phase ceasefire plan initiated by Israel. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Hamas’s support for the UN resolution a “hopeful sign,” though he stressed that the statements from Hamas leadership in Gaza are crucial.

Negotiations concerning plans for Gaza post-ceasefire are ongoing.

However, the Palestinian group, engaged in fierce fighting with Israeli military forces in Gaza, insisted that its demands be met. These include a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

Blinken stated that a military approach alone is insufficient and emphasized the need for a clear political and humanitarian plan to ensure Hamas does not maintain control of Gaza. This plan aims to secure more enduring security for Israel.

For months, US, Egyptian, and Qatari negotiators have been working to mediate a ceasefire. Hamas seeks a permanent end to the war in Gaza and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory, which is home to 2.3 million people.

The conflict was triggered by a Hamas attack on October 7, resulting in over 1,200 deaths and more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli sources. Over 100 hostages are still believed to be held in Gaza. Israel’s subsequent military response has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, as reported by Gaza health authorities and they are mostly women and children.

Blinken’s statements underscore the importance of both political and humanitarian strategies in resolving the conflict, alongside military efforts. The international community continues to monitor developments closely as they await a definitive response from Hamas.

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