Blinken Calls On Hamas To Agree To Fresh Terms For Ceasefire And Hostages Release

( — The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has called on Hamas to accept a new ceasefire agreement that would see the militant organization exchange its hostages with Israel.

Blinken made his demand while speaking at an international event and said that Israel acted “generously” in its latest ceasefire offer. Blinken said that he believed Hamas should accept the agreement, as it would halt the Israel-Hamas war and potentially put an end to the growing conflict. Despite Blinken’s push for Hamas to accept the latest ceasefire agreement, the militant organization will likely refuse the proposal due to Israel’s impending offensive in Rafah.

Israel initiated the latest ceasefire talks by proposing a hostage release deal through Egyptian officials who communicated with Hamas on Israel’s behalf. Israel said that the proposed deal would help Israel make peace with Hamas and that such an agreement would encourage Israel’s military to withdraw from Gaza. Hamas hasn’t outright objected to the ceasefire proposal, as a delegation from the militant organization should arrive in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss the proposal’s terms and provide a response.

Although Israel claims that it wants Hamas to accept the ceasefire agreement to prevent further bloodshed, Israeli officials have confirmed that should Hamas reject the proposal, Israel’s military would invade Rafah. Rafah serves as one of the last significant cities under Hamas’ control and currently houses over a million Palestinians, prompting concerns that an invasion from Israel’s military would result in thousands of civilian deaths.

Although the Biden administration has expressed support for Israel and the latest ceasefire agreement, Blinken confirmed that President Biden does not support Israel’s planned invasion of Rafah. According to Blinken, until Israel establishes an invasion plan that won’t jeopardize the civilians within Rafah, the White House will not endorse any offensive against the city.

Israel’s latest proposal would require Hamas to release over 30 hostages over the next few weeks, upon which Israel would release its Hamas captives in return. The primary goal of the agreement is to encourage cooperation between Israeli officials and members of Hamas so that a feasible permanent solution could materialize in the coming weeks. According to sources close to the ongoing ceasefire talks, neither side wants to call the agreement a permanent ceasefire due to both sides’ hesitance to end the continuing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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