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Blinken in Israel to discuss Gaza ceasefire

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli opposition leaders on Tuesday as part of a new Middle East tour -Orient intended for defend a ceasefire plan Gaza supported by the Security Council of ONU.

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the head of American diplomacy meets Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv, Benny Gantz, resigned member of the Israeli war cabinet, then the opposition leader Yaïr Lapid, before going to Jordan.

This eighth regional tour by the Secretary of State since the start of the war in the Palestinian territory comes as the UN Security Council adopted on Monday a draft American resolution supporting the ceasefire plan between Israel and Hamas.

The text, which “welcomes” the truce proposal announced on May 31 by American President Joe Biden, received 14 votes in favor, Russia abstaining.

“This Council has sent a clear message to Hamas: accept the ceasefire agreement on the table. Israel has already accepted it and “The fighting could stop today if Hamas did the same,” responded American Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

In a press release, Hamas “welcomed” the Security Council resolution, emphasizing that it “wishes to reaffirm its willingness to cooperate with the brother mediators to begin indirect negotiations regarding the implementation of these principles.”

The Islamist movement thus refers to its demands for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who sits in the West Bank but is expected to play a role in post-war Gaza, called “no in the right direction” the vote in the Security Council.

– “The path to calm” –

After a stop in Egypt, where he called on the countries of the region to “put pressure on Hamas” to accept a ceasefire, Antony Blinken met Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday for about two hours in Jerusalem to discuss of the plan and Gaza.

Blinken in Israel to discuss Gaza ceasefire

An Israeli army armored vehicle moves near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, June 9, 2024 © AFP – Menahem KAHANA

M. Blinken stressed that “the proposal on the table would pave the way for calm along Israel's northern border” with Lebanon and “for deeper integration” of Israel “with countries in the region,” according to the State Department.

“I firmly believe that the overwhelming majority” of Israelis and Palestinians “want to believe in a future” in which the two peoples “live in peace and security,” he added.

In the night, Israeli strikes continued across the Gaza Strip, with hospital sources reporting Palestinians killed in the center of the territory, where Israeli bombardments have been concentrated for a week.

In the West Bank, four Palestinians, one of whom was suspected by Israel of an attack, were killed late Monday evening by the Israeli army near Ramallah, new tensions locals on the sidelines of the war in Gaza.

In Lebanon, five people were killed before midnight on Monday, including three Syrians working with Hezbollah, in Israeli strikes targeting a convoy of tankers entering the country from neighboring Syria, according to an NGO and a military source.

– “Need an agreement” –

In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a political setback with the resignation on Sunday from the war cabinet of centrist minister Benny Gantz, who demands the adoption of a post-war “action plan” whose priority is to obtain the release of the hostages.

And early Tuesday his minister of Defense Yoav Gallant voted against the government on a controversial bill aimed at limiting the conscription of ultra-Orthodox Jews without forcing them into military service like the rest of the country.

Blinken in Israel to discuss Gaza ceasefire

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a press conference on June 8, 2024 in Ramat Gan, Israel. © POOL – JACK GUEZ

Despite these internal tensions, Mr. Netanyahu says he maintains his objective of eliminating Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007 and considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

And seeks, according to part of the Israeli press, to ride on an operation which made it possible to free four hostages on Saturday. But the Hamas Ministry of Health maintains that 274 Palestinians were killed in this operation, a toll that could not be independently verified.

As for families of hostages, most of them are asking for an agreement and not other operations like Orit Meir, the mother of Almog Meir Jan, one of the released hostages. The hostages “need an agreement to return home safely,” she said Monday.

– “Destruction everywhere” –

The war was started on October 7 by a Hamas attack in the south of Israel, which led to the death of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count established using official Israeli data.

Of 251 people kidnapped, 116 are still held hostage in Gaza, of whom 41 are dead, according to the Israeli army.

Blinken in Israel to discuss Gaza ceasefire

Young Palestinians play soccer amid the ruins of buildings destroyed in Israeli bombings, June 10, 2024 in Gaza City in the Gaza Strip. © AFP – Omar AL-QATTAA

In response, the Israeli army launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip, which left at least 37,124 people dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Gaza-led government. by Hamas.

And on May 7, Israel launched a ground offensive on the southern city of Rafah, which pushed a million Palestinians to flee and resulted in the closure of the border post with Egypt, crucial for the entry of aid into the territory.

In Jabaliya, in the north of Gaza, Soad Al-Qanou tries to save her young child, Amjad, who is emaciated by malnutrition, she tells the 'AFP: “This war has destroyed our lives and turned them upside down. There is no food, no drink, there is siege and destruction everywhere.”

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116