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 The United States pressured Israel into a cease-fire


Tel Aviv

Published: 22 March 2024, 20:57

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palestine | Hamas | Israel

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Israel on Friday to discuss a ceasefire in Gaza Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Israel amid renewed efforts for a ceasefire in Gaza. Today, Friday, he had a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the meeting, Blinken said that they discussed increasing relief supplies to Gaza and alternatives to the Rafah operation. He is visiting Israel at a time when tensions are rising between the two countries.

Meanwhile, a resolution brought by the United States to the UN Security Council calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza was rejected due to Russia and China’s veto.

The Israeli army said it killed and arrested hundreds of Hamas fighters in a raid on al-Shifa, the only partially functioning hospital in northern Gaza. However, Hamas and health workers have denied the presence of fighters there. The death toll from Israel’s attacks on Gaza has already exceeded 32,000.

Blinken is visiting the Middle East for the sixth time since the war in Gaza started on October 7. In this tour which started last Wednesday, he

 The United States pressured Israel into a cease-fire

is continuing diplomatic activities in the important countries of the region.

Blinken visited Saudi Arabia on the first day of the tour. He met there with the undeclared ruler of the country, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. After the meeting, Blinken said the “gap” between Israel and Hamas demands for a cease-fire in Gaza had narrowed. “Good progress has been made” in normalizing Saudi Arabia’s relations with Israel.

The top American diplomat held a meeting with the foreign ministers of the Arab countries in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, on Thursday. He later said a consensus had been reached on a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza. He also reiterated the US position on the two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

During Blinken’s visit to Israel, a ceasefire in Gaza was also being discussed in Doha, Qatar. A delegation headed by David Bernia, director of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, is expected to participate in the meeting.

The top US diplomat is visiting Israel at a time when tensions between the two countries have been created around US President Joe Biden’s speech. Biden said Israel’s operation in Gaza had “become excessive” and killed too many civilians.

Regarding the meeting with Blinken, Netanyahu said that Israel would launch an operation in Rafah, which he informed Blinken. He said, “We hope that it will have the support of the United States.” If necessary, we will conduct this operation alone.

Veto on ceasefire proposals

Meanwhile, Russia and China have vetoed the resolution brought by the United States calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. The United States has previously vetoed proposals brought by other countries calling for a ceasefire. The five permanent members of the Security Council—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China—have veto power. If one of these countries votes against a proposal, it does not pass.

11 of the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, with Algeria voting against. Guyana abstained from voting.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasiliy Nebenzia, who participated in the vote, said that the proposal made by the United States gave Israel an effective green signal to conduct military operations in Rafah. He also said that Russia will not vote for a “meaningless resolution” that does not call for a ceasefire.

The Russian envoy also alleged that the proposed proposal has been overly politicized. He said, this proposal will ensure the impunity of Israel. The resolution does not even address Israel’s guilt.

Four countries agree to recognize Palestine
Spain, Ireland, Malta and Slovenia have agreed to recognize Palestine as a state. According to the news agency Reuters, Spain along with the three countries has taken the first step to recognize Palestine as a state. Today, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, said this after a meeting of the European Council in Brussels.


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