May 21, 2024

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The war between Israel and Hamas: the main issues for Blinken upon his return to the Middle East

The war between Israel and Hamas: the main issues for Blinken upon his return to the Middle East

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that Israel still must do more to increase Humanitarian aid flows into the besieged Gaza Strip He will use his trip to the Middle East – his seventh to the region since the war between Israel and Hamas began in October – to press the issue with Israeli leaders.

Speaking during the events held in the Saudi capital, Blinken said that the best way to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is Reaching a ceasefire agreement is elusiveWhich would also release Israeli hostages held by Hamas since the October 7 attacks started the war. He said that Hamas had received a “very generous” offer from Israel, and he expressed his hope that the movement would accept it.

“Hamas has an unusual and very generous proposal from Israel, and at this moment, the only thing The one who stands between the people of Gaza and the ceasefire is HamasHe said at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Riyadh.

“They have to decide, and they have to decide quickly. So, we're looking forward to that, and I hope they make the right decision and that we can fundamentally change the dynamic,” Blinken said.

Although talks continue, Hamas has so far rejected a series of offers Negotiated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States Israel agreed to it. Even without reaching an agreement, Blinken said it was necessary to improve conditions in Gaza now.

“We are also not waiting for a ceasefire to take the necessary steps to address the needs of civilians in Gaza,” Blinken told Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers earlier Monday, when he arrived in Saudi Arabia for his first stop in the Middle East. An eastern tour includes stops in Jordan and Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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“We have seen significant progress in the past few weeks, including… Opening new crossings Increasing the volume of aid provided to Gaza and inside Gaza, and building the American sea corridor, which will be opened in the coming weeks. But this is not enough. “We still need to get more aid in and around Gaza.”

He said the safety of humanitarian workers must be improved, and that there is a focus on ensuring that aid has an appropriate impact on Palestinian civilians.

Dozens of aid workers have been killed since the conflict began, and a large number of aid workers have also been killed The Israeli attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy The killing of seven aid workers in Gaza this month has only highlighted the risks and difficulties facing protecting them. Israel said the strike was a mistake and did happen Disciplined officials concerned.

World Central Kitchen said it would resume operations in Gaza on Monday after a four-week hiatus.

Blinken, who will also meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday, is having a hard time working.

The war in Gaza has continued with little end in sight: more than 34,000 people Palestinians have been killedHundreds of thousands are displaced, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening.

The conflict has fueled mass protests around the world It has spread to American college campuses. US support for Israel, especially arms transfers, has come under particular criticism, something the administration is keenly aware of as posing potential problems for US President Joe Biden in an election year.

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Blinken's trip comes in light of renewed concerns about the spread of conflict in the Middle East and with the freezing of previously promising Israeli-Saudi rapprochement prospects, as Israel refuses to consider one of the Saudis' main conditions for normalizing relations: Establishment of the Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration Warning Israel of a major military operation In the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where more than a million Palestinians fled the fighting in the north. Israel has not launched such an attack yet, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that it will happen, stressing that it will be the last attack. The only solution to eliminate Hamas.

The two topics were discussed during a phone call between Biden and Netanyahu on Sunday, according to the White House and US officials.

During his trip, Blinken said he would also stress the absolute importance of not allowing the conflict between Israel and Hamas to happen Flooding the area.

The fire risk was underscored this month when a suspected Israeli attack on an Iranian consular building in Syria sparked an unprecedented direct campaign. Missile and drone response by Iran against Israel. Clear retaliation The Israeli strike on Iran He follows.

Although the cycle of “revenge” appears to have ended for the time being, deep concerns remain that Iran or its proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria or Yemen could act in a way that would trigger a greater response from Israel or that Israel may take action. An action to which Iran feels it must respond.

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