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Blinken Urges Immediate Gaza Cease-Fire: “Time is Now”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Credits: Premium Times)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the urgency of securing a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza conflict during a press conference late Tuesday, following his meetings with Israeli leaders earlier in the day.

Addressing reporters’ questions about the potential impact of an Israeli invasion of Rafah on ceasefire efforts, Blinken stressed the immediate need to reach an agreement to protect civilians in Gaza and address the situation of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

US Sec of State Blinken (Credits: U.S. Embassy in Niger)

Blinken highlighted Israel’s willingness to compromise and put forward a strong proposal, emphasizing that the ball is now in Hamas’s court. He called for no further delays or excuses, urging Hamas to act swiftly.

During his seventh visit to the region since the conflict began in October, Blinken is working to broker a deal between Israel and Hamas before any military action in Rafah, where thousands of Palestinians are seeking shelter.

While recent talks have shown promise, both sides remain divided on the terms for ending the conflict. However, Blinken underscored the importance of a ceasefire agreement, stating that it is the most effective way to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza and ensure lasting peace and security for Israelis.

Antony Blinken (Credits: The Times of Israel)

Blinken also highlighted the efforts of the United States in coordinating with Jordan to establish a humanitarian aid route into northern Gaza, with the first shipments already underway. He commended Jordan for its remarkable work in facilitating aid delivery.

Despite progress, Blinken emphasized the need for further action to ensure that aid reaches those in need effectively. He reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to facilitating a ceasefire agreement and pointed out that Hamas is the only obstacle preventing its achievement.

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