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Blinken again reaches Tel Aviv, holds 'tough negotiations' with Netanyahu over 'temporary ceasefire'

Blinken reached the war-torn nation where he is currently meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials in Tel Aviv. The White House said he will reiterate US support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism consistent with international humanitarian law.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Tel Aviv Updated on: November 03, 2023 15:23 IST
US Secretary Antony Blinken with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.
Image Source : X/@ISRAELIPM US Secretary Antony Blinken with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.

Nearly four weeks after Hamas’ deadly rampage in Israel sparked the war, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Friday reached the war-torn nation where he is meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials in Tel Aviv. "Returned to Israel for meetings with @IsraeliPM Netanyahu, President @Isaac_Herzog, and other government leaders. Will discuss Israel’s right to defend itself and our work to get humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza," he wrote just after landing in Tel Aviv.

As per the latest social media post by the Israeli Prime Minister's office, Netanyahu is now holding a private meeting with the US Secretary of State at the Kirya in Tel Aviv. They will also meet with the members of the War Cabinet.

This is the third time in a month that the Biden administration has sent its top diplomat to deal with the Middle East crisis. According to the statement released by the White House on Thursday, Secretary Blinken will reiterate US support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism consistent with international humanitarian law. Besides, he will also discuss efforts to safeguard US citizens in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, work to secure the immediate release of hostages, increase the pace and volume of humanitarian assistance entering Gaza for distribution to Palestinian civilians, and prevent the conflict from spreading.

During his visit, Blinken will again stress Israel’s right to defend itself but will also be making the case for Israel to respect the rules of war as well as consider postwar scenarios for how the territory can be run if and when it succeeds in eradicating Hamas.

“Humanitarian pause” 

For the past week, the US administration has been pushing a two-state resolution to establish a durable and lasting peace, although neither the current Israeli nor Palestinian leaderships have shown interest in such negotiations, which have failed multiple times. Blinken will also urge Israeli authorities to rein in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank by Jewish settlers.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has called for a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting in order to arrange the evacuation of dual citizens and foreigners still trapped in Gaza as well as to try to secure the release of more than 240 hostages Hamas is holding and to increase humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

Why Blinken's visit is crucial?

It is worth mentioning that Blinken, who has had two rounds of trips to Israel since the war escalated last month, will try to convince Netanyahu to "pause" the war for some days in order to let humanitarian aid pass through the Egyptian border. Besides, during the trip, he is also scheduled to meet Jordan's top officials in order to broker a deal with Arab nations. 

The Palestinian death toll in the Israel-Hamas war has reached 9,061, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, more than 130 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the fighting, and 242 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: US State Secy Antony Blinken, Defence Secy Austin to visit India for 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue this month

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