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Blinken wants to personally promote Gaza ceasefire

Journey to four countries
Blinken wants to personally promote Gaza ceasefire

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US President Biden has a plan to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip. But neither Israel nor Hamas have agreed so far. The American Secretary of State is therefore traveling to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Qatar.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to push for an agreement on a ceasefire in the Gaza war during another Middle East trip next week. Blinken will visit Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Qatar between Monday and Wednesday, his ministry announced. The talks will focus on the plan presented by US President Joe Biden to end the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Neither Israel nor Hamas have yet agreed to the multi-stage plan.

In addition to an end to hostilities and the release of all hostages held by the Islamists, the plan also calls for the reconstruction of the coastal strip controlled by the terrorist organization and severely hit by Israeli attacks. Blinken will discuss with partners the need to seal the ceasefire agreement and thus ensure the release of all hostages, it was said from Washington.

For weeks, Qatar, the US and Egypt have been mediating between Israel and Hamas to achieve a ceasefire and an exchange of hostages held in the Gaza Strip for Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Hamas leader Jihia al-Sinwar rejected an agreement with Israel that would also provide for the disarmament of his terrorist organization. Blinken is currently in France with Biden for the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in World War II.

“Almost identical to the proposal approved by Hamas”

During the talks, Blinken will “emphasize the importance of Hamas accepting the current proposal,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. He will also discuss “how the ceasefire proposal would benefit both Israelis and Palestinians.” The minister will emphasize that the current plan “would alleviate suffering in Gaza, enable a massive increase in humanitarian aid, and allow Palestinians to return to their homes.”

The proposal is “almost identical to the one Hamas approved last month,” Miller continued. It would also “open up the possibility of achieving calm along Israel's northern border,” where tensions are rising between Israel and the Islamist Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.

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