Netanyahu Reaffirms Commitment to Gaza Cease-Fire Proposal: Blinken

In a significant development, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated his commitment to a cease-fire proposal aimed at ending the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The announcement came after their meeting on Monday evening.

“During our discussion last night, Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to the cease-fire proposal,” Blinken stated, according to reports by Israeli public broadcaster KAN. The Secretary of State also highlighted a positive response from Hamas towards a recent UN vote endorsing the US-backed cease-fire resolution, describing it as a “hopeful” indication of potential progress.

Despite the encouraging signs, Blinken emphasized that a clear and official acceptance from Hamas is still necessary. “If a cease-fire is truly desired, then Hamas must formally agree to the proposal,” he asserted.

On Monday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting the Gaza cease-fire proposal announced by US President Joe Biden, with 14 votes in favor and Russia abstaining. This resolution underscores the diplomatic efforts led by Egypt, the US, and Qatar, and welcomes the three-phase cease-fire plan endorsed by President Biden on May 31.

The Palestinian group Hamas has expressed support for the UN Security Council resolution, particularly its provisions for a permanent cease-fire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, prisoner exchanges, reconstruction efforts, the return of displaced persons, and the introduction of humanitarian aid.

Israel has faced widespread international criticism for its ongoing military operations in Gaza following an October 7 attack by Hamas. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of over 37,100 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuries to nearly 84,700 others, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the conflict, Gaza remains devastated, with extensive destruction and a severe blockade hindering access to food, clean water, and medical supplies. Israel is currently facing accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has recently ordered Tel Aviv to cease its operations in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians sought refuge before the city was invaded on May 6.–News Desk