US remains hopeful for Palestine: Antony Blinken tries to negotiate while Netanyahu vows to eliminate Hamas | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  US remains hopeful for Palestine: Antony Blinken tries to negotiate while Netanyahu vows to eliminate Hamas
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US remains hopeful for Palestine: Antony Blinken tries to negotiate while Netanyahu vows to eliminate Hamas

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is hopeful for a cease-fire and exchange of hostages between Israel and Hamas amid ongoing conflict. Blinken's fifth trip to the region aims to mediate and ease tensions through diplomacy.

Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, during a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Israel and the US offered conflicting interpretations of Hamas's response to a proposal to pause fighting and release dozens of hostages, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeming to reject it out of hand and Blinken saying it opened space for a deal. Photographer: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg (Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg)Premium
Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, during a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024. Israel and the US offered conflicting interpretations of Hamas's response to a proposal to pause fighting and release dozens of hostages, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeming to reject it out of hand and Blinken saying it opened space for a deal. Photographer: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg (Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg)

Antony Blinken has emphasised the possibility of a cease-fire and the exchange of hostages between Israel and Hamas. This comes amid ongoing conflict that has escalated over five months, resulting in significant loss and displacement in the region. The conflict has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians so far, AP reported.

The US Secretary of State’s fifth trip to the region since October 7 is aimed to mediate and potentially ease tensions through diplomatic means. Despite the challenges, including Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's dismissal of Hamas' proposed plan for peace, Blinken remained hopeful about finding common ground.

Also Read: Israel-Hamas inch closer to fresh ceasefire plan: 10 things you need to know

“While there are some clear non-starters in Hamas’ response, we do think it creates space for agreement to be reached, and we will work at that relentlessly until we get there," Blinken said while not clarifying what the “non-starters" were.

Netanyahu has, however, outright rejected Hamas' proposition, which sought the release of Palestinians in exchange for hostages. He has called it “delusional". He believes in applying military force to resolve the current hostage situation in Gaza, sparked by a sudden attack from Hamas.

Also Read: Gaza war to stop? Hamas gives ‘positive’ reply to truce deal; Israel says ‘studying it intensely’

"The day after is the day after Hamas. All of Hamas," Netanyahu said at a press conference. "Continued military pressure is a necessary condition for the release of the hostages."

Blinken, however, saw the negotiations differently. He suggested that, despite the apparent deadlock, the proposals on the table could lead to constructive dialogue.

“It’s not flipping a light switch. It’s not yes or no," he said.

Saudi Arabia’s demand

Blinken has consistently said that Israel would have to take “difficult" decisions and settle for a two-state solution to normalise relationship with Saudi Arabia. The solution is also required for the reconstruction of Gaza.

Also Read: ‘If Donald Trump was in power…’: Israeli minister claims Joe Biden ‘not fully supporting’ war on Hamas in Gaza

Blinken earlier met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who had emphatically demanded "a clear, credible, timebound path to the establishment of a Palestinian state." Saudi Arabia will normalise its relationship with Israel only after that, Salman added.

(With AP inputs)

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Published: 08 Feb 2024, 07:04 AM IST
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