Secretary Blinken returns to Middle East in push for cease-fire deal

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making his eighth visit to the Middle East since the war began, focusing on a proposal he believes is the best way to achieve what people want: hostages freed and a cease-fire in Gaza.Blinken says Hamas is the only one holding up a three-part proposal first announced by President Biden in late May and is putting public pressure on the group to accept the U.S.-backed cease-fire deal now on the table.In remarks to the press on Monday, the Secretary said, “If you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to alleviate the terrible suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, press Hamas to say yes.”Blinken spent the day meeting with Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu behind closed doors, discussing the proposed cease-fire. Officials say Blinken is expected to meet with former Israeli War Cabinet Member Benny Gantz on Tuesday. Gantz resigned from the Israeli war cabinet Sunday, prompting fears his exit may make the Prime Minister more reliant on the far right, who oppose the U.S.-backed proposal. “Netanyahu prevents us from moving forward to a real victory,” Gantz said in remarks after his resignation. “We leave the government, the emergency government with a heavy heart but complete heart,” he went on to say.The cease-fire push could also be complicated by an Israel Defense Forces operation over the weekend that freed four Israeli hostages, but also reportedly resulted in the deaths of more than 250 Palestinians. The IDF has disputed the number of civilian casualties. Still, Secretary Blinken says he believes a deal is possible. “Egypt, the United States, other countries believe that we should be able to get to yes, but ultimately, I can’t put myself – none of us can put ourselves in the minds of Hamas or its leaders,” Blinken said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making his eighth visit to the Middle East since the war began, focusing on a proposal he believes is the best way to achieve what people want: hostages freed and a cease-fire in Gaza.

Blinken says Hamas is the only one holding up a three-part proposal first announced by President Biden in late May and is putting public pressure on the group to accept the U.S.-backed cease-fire deal now on the table.

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In remarks to the press on Monday, the Secretary said, “If you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say yes. If you want to alleviate the terrible suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, press Hamas to say yes.”

Blinken spent the day meeting with Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu behind closed doors, discussing the proposed cease-fire. Officials say Blinken is expected to meet with former Israeli War Cabinet Member Benny Gantz on Tuesday.

Gantz resigned from the Israeli war cabinet Sunday, prompting fears his exit may make the Prime Minister more reliant on the far right, who oppose the U.S.-backed proposal.

“Netanyahu prevents us from moving forward to a real victory,” Gantz said in remarks after his resignation. “We leave the government, the emergency government with a heavy heart but complete heart,” he went on to say.

The cease-fire push could also be complicated by an Israel Defense Forces operation over the weekend that freed four Israeli hostages, but also reportedly resulted in the deaths of more than 250 Palestinians. The IDF has disputed the number of civilian casualties.

Still, Secretary Blinken says he believes a deal is possible. “Egypt, the United States, other countries believe that we should be able to get to yes, but ultimately, I can’t put myself – none of us can put ourselves in the minds of Hamas or its leaders,” Blinken said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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