As pressure mounts on Hamas to accept a cease-fire plan, Blinken pushes Israel on postwar Gaza plans

The Washington Post

After the U.N. Security Council passed a U.S.-sponsored resolution endorsing the cease-fire proposal, Hamas said it welcomed the move and was ready to work with mediators in indirect negotiations with Israel to implement it.
Blinken again urged Hamas to accept it, saying it has wide international support and Israel has accepted it, though Netanyahu has expressed skepticism.
In his talks with el-Sissi, Blinken also discussed plans for post-conflict governance and reconstruction in Gaza.
Netanyahu and his government have resisted calls for any “day after” plan that would bar Israel from having some form of security presence in the territory.
Blinken said he would urge Israel to come up with alternatives that would be acceptable.
Blinken has met with Netanyahu, Gallant, Gantz and Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on nearly all his previous trips to Israel.
The war has severely hindered the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to the Palestinians in Gaza, who are facing widespread hunger.
In Jordan, Blinken will take part in an emergency international conference on improving the flow of aid to Gaza.

POSITIVE

TEL AVIV (AP)— The U. S. As he pushed for increased international pressure on Hamas to agree to a cease-fire proposal recently endorsed by the U.S., Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged top Israeli officials on Monday to accept and implement a plan for postwar Gaza. N. Security Council.

After meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, Blinken went on his eighth urgent trip to the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. He met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to advance the proposal, which is now facing additional uncertainty in the wake of Israel’s hostage rescue operation that claimed many Palestinian lives and unrest within Netanyahu’s administration.

According to the State Department, Blinken assured Netanyahu that “the United States and other world leaders will stand behind the comprehensive proposal outlined by President Biden that would lead to an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, and a significant and sustained increase in humanitarian assistance for distribution throughout Gaza.”.

Upon the U. Not N. Security Council adopted a U.S. S. -sponsored resolution supporting the cease-fire proposal, Hamas declared that it applauded the action and that it was prepared to collaborate with go-betweens in indirect talks with Israel to put the plan into action. Although it was one of Hamas’s strongest statements to date, it emphasized the organization would carry on “our struggle” to remove the Israeli occupation and work toward the establishment of a “fully sovereign” Palestinian state.

But the militant organization has yet to formally reply to the proposal that was sent to it ten days ago. Even though Netanyahu has voiced doubt, Blinken persuaded Hamas once more to embrace it, citing broad international support and Israel’s acceptance.

Blinken acknowledged to reporters that some people were not optimistic about the future before departing Cairo for Israel, Jordan, and Qatar. That is reasonable. To this day, Hamas’ actions demonstrate an extraordinary cynicism and lack of concern for the security and well-being of both Palestinians and Israelis. “.

As Biden, Blinken, and additional U.S. S. Officials have applauded the successful rescue of four Israeli hostages on Saturday; 274 Palestinian civilians were killed in the operation, which may complicate efforts to push for a cease-fire by fortifying Israel’s resolve and fortifying Hamas’ determination to continue fighting in the conflict that began with its Oct. Seven assaults in Israel.

Planned post-conflict governance and reconstruction in Gaza were among the topics Blinken and el-Sissi discussed.

The “day after” plan, which would prevent Israel from maintaining any kind of security presence in the region, has been opposed by Netanyahu and his administration. Blinken declared that he would push Israel to find workable substitutes.

“I’ll be talking to the government about that, and it would be very good if Israel put forward its own ideas on this,” Blinken stated. “However, if we wish to benefit from a cease-fire, we must have these plans in place and be prepared to act on them. “.

The resolution drafted by Americans and presented to the U.S. Congress outlines a three-phase plan that includes the release of additional hostages and a temporary cessation of hostilities for as long as it takes to negotiate the second phase, which seeks to bring about the release of all hostages, a “full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza,” and “a permanent end to hostilities.”. N. Security Council. In the third phase, Gaza must be rebuilt.

Netanyahu, expressing skepticism, asserts that Israel remains dedicated to dismantling Hamas despite the agreement being portrayed as an Israeli initiative and the thousands of Israelis who have shown their support for it.

In the event that Netanyahu carries out the plan, his far-right allies have threatened to topple him. Popular centrist Benny Gantz announced his resignation from the three-person War Cabinet on Sunday, stating that he would step down if the prime minister failed to come up with a fresh plan for Gaza after the war.

On almost all of his prior visits to Israel, Blinken has met with Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, as well as Netanyahu, Gallant, and Gantz. Netanyahu had urged Gantz not to resign following the hostage rescue, and officials said that Blinken is scheduled to meet with him on Tuesday.

Even though Blinken has visited the area about once a month since the war started, the fighting has continued, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting that more than 37,120 Palestinians have died. The ministry does not distinguish between combatants and civilians when tallying casualties. Roughly 1,200 people were killed in October by Hamas and other militants. 7 attack, mainly targeting civilians, and kidnapped about 250 individuals.

There is a severe shortage of food, medicine, and other supplies for the Palestinians living in Gaza due to the war. U. Not N. Organizations estimate that by mid-July, over a million residents in the region may be at the greatest risk of starvation.

Blinken will be attending a last-minute international conference in Jordan to discuss ways to improve the assistance going to Gaza.

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