Blinken meets with Netanyahu in renewed push for Gaza cease-fire  « Khabarhub
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Blinken meets with Netanyahu in renewed push for Gaza cease-fire 


02 May 2024  

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JERUSALEM: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem as talks continue in Cairo to resolve details of an elusive bid for a cease-fire in Israel’s war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Blinken “emphasized that it is Hamas that is standing in the way of a cease-fire.”

The militants so far have refused to accept a plan calling for a several-week halt in nearly seven months of warfare, along with Hamas failing to free hostages it is holding in exchange for the release of Palestinians jailed by Israel.

But even as Blinken blamed Hamas for the lack of a truce, Miller said the top U.S. diplomat told Netanyahu that the U.S. remains opposed to the Israeli leader’s call for a ground attack on the southern Gaza town of Rafah, where Israel says it plans to root out four remaining battalions of Hamas fighters.

“We cannot, will not support a major military operation in Rafah, absent an effective plan to make sure that civilians are not harmed and no, we’ve not seen such a plan,” Blinken said at a news conference in Ashdod, Israel.

“And at the same time, there are other ways, and in our judgment, better ways of dealing with the real ongoing challenge of Hamas that does not involve or require a major military operation in Rafah.”

The U.S., the United Nations and numerous world officials have voiced opposition to an attack on Rafah because more than a million Palestinian refugees are sheltering there, many of them ordered by the Israeli military to flee there from their homes in northern Gaza during the earliest weeks of the war.

(VOA)

Publish Date : 02 May 2024 06:50 AM

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