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Israel Visit: U.S. Secretary Urges Hamas To Accept Cease-Fire Proposal

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US Hong Kong Officials
Antony Blinken

The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday, urged Hamas to accept a cease-fire proposal amid escalating conflict.

This comes after Israel’s rescue operation freed four hostages but resulted in many Palestinian casualties.

During his eighth visit to the Middle East since the conflict began in October, Blinken also met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, a key mediator with Hamas.

Blinken called on Hamas to agree to the cease-fire proposal, adding that the proposal has wide internal support.

“If you want a cease-fire, press Hamas to say ‘yes,” he declared.

The cease-fire proposal includes a three-phase plan: the release of more hostages, a temporary pause in hostilities to negotiate further terms, and the reconstruction of Gaza. The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution welcoming the proposal and urging Hamas to accept it.

Blinken called the cease-fire plan the “single best way” to achieve peace and release remaining hostages.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, Blinken discussed plans for post-conflict governance and reconstruction in Gaza, stressing the need for security, governance, and reconstruction plans to be in place ahead of the end of the conflict.

He urged Israel to propose alternatives to ensure stability after the conflict.

The U.S. Secretary’s visit also included meetings in Jordan and Qatar. In Jordan, he will attend an international conference focused on improving aid flow to Gaza, where the conflict has caused severe shortages of food, medicine, and other supplies, leaving over a million people facing potential starvation.

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