Blinken Seeks a New Extension of the Gaza Cease-Fire as He Heads Again to the Middle East

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    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a press conference following the Nato Foreign Ministers meeting on Ukraine at Nato Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

    BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the Biden administration would like to see a new extension of the cease-fire agreement in Israel’s war with Hamas after the current one expires to secure the release of additional hostages held by the militant group and to ramp up humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza.

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    As he prepared to make his third visit to the Middle East since the war began with Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel, Blinken said Wednesday that in addition to discussing short-term logistical and operational planning, the Biden administration believes it is imperative to discuss ideas about the future governance of Gaza if Israel achieves its stated goal of eradicating Hamas.

    Israel and Arab nations have resisted such discussions about future governance, with Israeli officials concentrating on the war and Arab leaders insisting the immediate priority must be ending the fighting that has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians.

    The extension of the current deal expires later Wednesday.

    “Looking at the next couple of days, we’ll be focused on doing what we can to extend the pause so we can continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in,” Blinken told reporters in Brussels, where he was attending a NATO foreign ministers meeting.

    “And we’ll discuss with Israel how it can achieve its objective of ensuring that the terrorist attacks of Oct. 7 never happen again, while sustaining and increasing humanitarian assistance and minimizing further suffering of Palestinian civilians.”

    He added before leaving Brussels for Israel and the West Bank: “Everyone’s focused on the day of, on what’s happening in Gaza right now, but we also need to be focused at the same time — and we are in conversations with many other countries — on what I call the ‘day after’ and ‘the day after the day after’: I mean, what happens in Gaza once the campaign is over?”

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that Israeli forces will eventually restart military operations after the conclusion of the current, temporary cease-fire that has allowed for an exchange of hostages taken by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

    U.S. President Joe Biden has said he would like to see the pause continue for as long as feasible. Biden and Blinken have also stressed the importance of planning for post-conflict Gaza as well as the need to resume negotiations for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state. Netanyahu is opposed to a Palestinian state and has said he is the only Israeli leader who can prevent one from being formed.

    “We believe that that is the only path to enduring peace, to enduring security, to the preservation of Israel as a strong secure, democratic Jewish state and Palestinians having their legitimate aspirations for a state and self determination,” Blinken said.


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    5 Comments
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    zumy
    zumy
    2 months ago

    The only beneficiary of this absurd ceasefire is Hamas the aggressor who gets to call the shots! Israel should have made conditions in Gaza so unbearable that they would send all the hostages back just to get some food in. Instead, Israel is being taunted by dribs and drabs of hostages, the lot of the unknowns more than terrifying. And the ransom for the soldiers and males going to be raised too! Raze Gaza! It’s pathetic and painful to watch these barbarians play such cruel games and be treated like a partner.

    Tsvi Kukenheim
    Tsvi Kukenheim
    2 months ago

    We are not prepared to stop the war with Hamas murderers till we have full control of the Gaza Strip and the hostages Moreover we will also clean up the murderers of Hamas and Fatach in Yehuda and Shomron. We want to live in peace. Once this has been fulled then the peacefull Arabic population will be accepted in our country. There is no other way to solve this matter

    Democrats fund the pali and Iranian terrror regime
    Democrats fund the pali and Iranian terrror regime
    2 months ago

    Blinken is the biggest proponent of elevating the Iranian terror regime to regional hegemon.

    Aguttenshabbos
    Aguttenshabbos
    2 months ago

    This, coming from somebody that is part and parcel of the same party that is completely incompetent / refuses to crack down on the outrageous crime rate in the USA. Yeah, let’s follow his advice. Unbelievable!!