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Blinken Says Fate of Cease-Fire Proposal Is Up to Hamas

Blinken Says Fate of Cease-Fire Proposal Is Up to Hamas


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A day after the United Nations Security Council endorsed a U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal for Gaza, the world is ready for Hamas’s chief to reply, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned on Tuesday.

Putting the onus instantly on Hamas’s chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, Mr. Blinken, chatting with reporters in Tel Aviv, requested whether or not the group would act in the very best pursuits of the Palestinian individuals by accepting the deal. At least, he mentioned, it will pause the preventing and permit extra humanitarian support to stream into Gaza.

Alternately, he mentioned, Hamas may very well be “taking care of one man,” Mr. Sinwar, “who could also be for now protected, I don’t know, 10 tales underground someplace in Gaza, whereas the folks that he purports to symbolize proceed to endure within the crossfire of his personal making.”

Though President Biden has described the U.S.-backed cease-fire plan as one initially proposed by Israel final month, Israeli officers haven’t publicly endorsed it, they usually haven’t mentioned whether or not they would abide by the deal if Hamas accepts it.

After assembly on Monday with senior Israeli leaders, together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “I believe there’s a powerful consensus, once more, behind shifting ahead the proposal,” Mr. Blinken mentioned.

“But it truly is down to 1 individual at this level,” he added, referring to Mr. Sinwar.

During a go to to Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken greets households and supporters of Israelis held hostage in Gaza.Credit…Pool photograph by Jack Guez

Mr. Blinken mentioned he obtained an specific assurance from Mr. Netanyahu that he continued to help the proposal, regardless of doubts the Israeli chief sowed final week when he known as the thought of a negotiated everlasting cease-fire — which Hamas has known as important — a “nonstarter.”

Asked how that distinction may be reconciled, Mr. Blinken emphasised the worth of attaining an instantaneous cease-fire within the first section of the proposed three-phase settlement. “The dedication in agreeing to the proposal is to hunt that enduring cease-fire,” he mentioned. “But that must be negotiated.”

Along with the instant cease-fire, the primary section of the settlement requires the discharge of all hostages being held in Gaza in trade for a bigger variety of Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons, the return of displaced Gazans to their properties and the total withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

The second section requires a everlasting cease-fire with the settlement of each events. The third section would encompass a multiyear reconstruction plan for Gaza and the return of the stays of deceased hostages.

Mr. Blinken spoke on the patio of a seaside lodge in Tel Aviv as a number of kin of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, with whom he had simply met briefly, trying on. Several held indicators with images of their family members studying, “Bring Them Home.”

On the second day of his eighth go to to the Middle East for the reason that Hamas-led assault on Israel on Oct. 7, Mr. Blinken known as Monday’s unanimous Security Council vote an indication that Hamas might be remoted if it doesn’t conform to the proposed deal, which President Biden endorsed in a speech on May 31.

“The United Nations Security Council, in impact talking for all the worldwide neighborhood, made it as clear because it presumably may very well be that that is what the world is in search of,” Mr. Blinken mentioned.

In a press release on Monday, Hamas mentioned it “welcomes what’s included within the Security Council decision that affirmed the everlasting cease-fire in Gaza, the entire withdrawal, the prisoners’ trade, the reconstruction, the return of the displaced to their areas of residence, the rejection of any demographic change or discount within the space of the Gaza Strip, and the supply of wanted support to our individuals within the strip.”

Mr. Blinken known as that assertion “a hopeful signal.” But he added that what issues “is the phrase of the Hamas management in Gaza” — particularly Mr. Sinwar.

Mr. Blinken spoke to reporters earlier than leaving for Amman, Jordan, the place he was scheduled to attend a convention on humanitarian support for Gaza. He additionally met on Tuesday morning with Israel’s opposition chief, Yair Lapid, and with Benny Gantz, who pulled his centrist party out of Israel’s emergency wartime authorities on Sunday in protest of Mr. Netanyahu’s dealing with of the battle.

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