Helena Lyng Blak
9 weeks ago

Ceasefire in Gaza getting closer?

Blinken says this moment in history is “dark,” but that there’s “also a tremendous opportunity.”
Flags of Israel and Palestine and barbed wire
Bartolomiej Pietrzyk / Shutterstock

“It’s getting closer. I think the gaps are narrowing, and I think an agreement is very much possible.”

Those were the words of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with Saudi news channel Al-Hadath.

Blinken stated that the US, working with Egypt, Qatar, and Israel, had put forward a “strong proposal” for an immediate ceasefire, but it was rejected by Hamas.

“They came back with other requests, other demands. The negotiators are working on that right now. But I believe it’s very much doable, and it’s very much necessary,” he said. 

On the topic of Israel’s plans to launch an offensive in Rafah, where half of Gaza's population resides, Blinken reiterated the US’ disapproval: “We’ve been very clear – President Biden has been very clear – that we cannot support a major ground operation, military operation in Rafah.”

Ultimately, Blinken sees a light at the end of the tunnel regarding the war in Gaza and the resulting humanitarian crisis. He argues that now there is a real, new motivation in “virtually every country in the region” to integrate Israel and normalize relations between countries, as well as to resolve “the Palestinian question” with a Palestinian state and lay the foundation for enduring stability among the region’s nations.

He says: “I think as dark as this moment is, there’s also a tremendous opportunity – maybe even a unique opportunity.”

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