• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Blinken to visit Middle-East, presents proposal to end the war

anthony blinken (1)

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State will be launching his eight tour to the Middle East with a planned proposal on how to end the Israeli-Palestine war.

According to Washington, the US top diplomat will be visiting Egypt and Israel on Monday before continuing to Jordan and Qatar. He will seek support for the latest draft of the ceasefire deal presented by President Joe Biden 10 days ago, which the US also hopes to put to a vote at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Although neither Israel nor Hamas have fully endorsed the plan, the fighting continues, with air raids hitting across the Gaza Strip overnight on Sunday and Monday morning.

Read also:Blinken returns to Middle East to push for Gaza truce deal

In Cairo, Blinken will meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi before visiting Israel for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

As well as pressing the ceasefire proposal, the US official is set to discuss the reopening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, a vital point for aid shipments into Gaza that Israel seized amid its ground invasion on the south of the enclave last month, Al Jazeera reported.

Read also: UN top court orders Israel to halt military operations in Rafah

Biden outlined on May 31 a three-phase proposal to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip that he said was presented by Israel. However, neither Israel nor Hamas has fully endorsed the plan, with negotiations ongoing.
Al Jazeera reported that a senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, urged the US on Monday to press Israel to end the war.

“We call upon the US administration to put pressure on the occupation to stop the war on Gaza and the Hamas movement is ready to deal positively with any initiative that secures an end to the war,” he said.

The proposal includes the exchange of Palestinian prisoners with Israeli captives, withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, return of displaced Palestinians to their homes across the enclave, and a plan to reconstruct the territory, much of which has been destroyed since October 7.

More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war and about 84,000 injured, mostly women and children.