Blinken says he will tell Israelis Rafah invasion would be a ‘mistake’

CAIRO — Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed optimism Thursday that a deal could be reached to halt the fighting. Gaza Strip The hostages there will eventually be released, but he said he intended to send a tough message to Israeli leaders that a potential invasion of the crowded city of Rafah would be a “mistake.”

“A major military operation in Rafah would be a mistake and we do not support it,” Blinken said. “This involves a bad choice. It is possible and indeed necessary to address the ongoing threat posed by: Hamas, but no major military action. “

Tensions between the United States and Israel rise over comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planning an invasion The city in southern Gaza is home to more than 1 million Palestinian civilians seeking refuge amid violence and a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Blinken, on his sixth trip to the Middle East since war broke out between Hamas and Israel in October, is pushing to finalize an Arab-backed vision. Gaza after conflict This will ultimately lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. He will arrive in Israel on Friday.

Blinken told a news conference here after a day of meetings with foreign ministers from leading Arab countries that they were close to developing a plan that could be presented to Israel. But he acknowledged that the Israeli government may not be ready to accept Palestinian statehood, which would jeopardize the rest of the plan.

“On big principles, we pretty much have a common approach,” Blinken said of discussions with top diplomats from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian Authority. “It’s hard to focus on the future and how to escape the endless cycle of terrorism, violence, death, destruction, but it’s important that we work on it so that when the time comes… that’s there .”

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Blinken also said there was progress in indirect ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas. Standing with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, he said the gap “is closing.”

The assessment raised hopes that a deal to suspend hostilities and release more Israeli hostages could finally be struck when senior negotiators meet in Qatar on Friday.

“We will continue to push for a deal in Doha,” Blinken said, noting that he had “no certainty” when a deal would be reached. “It’s going to be hard work getting there.”

The Israeli prime minister’s office said senior negotiators from Israel, Qatar, the United States and Hamas would participate, with CIA Director William J. Burns representing Washington.

Also on Friday, a U.S.-sponsored resolution supporting a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages will be put to the U.N. Security Council for a vote. U.S. mission spokesman Nate Evans said the measure “provides the Security Council with an opportunity to speak with a unified voice in support of ongoing diplomacy … and pressure Hamas to accept what’s on the table” agreement”. It also called on “all parties to the conflict” to abide by international law that protects civilians.

Blinken said he was concerned about the increasingly dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and said Israel “needs to do more” to speed up aid delivery to the troubled region.

“No child should die from malnutrition in Gaza or anywhere else,” he added. “We cannot, we must not, allow this to continue.”

Blinken has been working on a plan to present to Israeli leaders in exchange for the lure of Israel. Normalize relations with Saudi Arabia The establishment of a Palestinian state with the consent of Israel. It will also lay out plans for how to manage and rebuild Gaza after the war. America’s top diplomat met with Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Wednesday.

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry called for an end to the conflict as soon as possible, saying “there is no room to wait, no room to increase suffering, and no reason to allow the war to continue.”

In the latest round of fighting in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said they were continuing attacks on Shifa Hospital and surrounding areas in Gaza City.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said access to the facility had become “impossible, with reports of health workers being arrested and detained”. He added that the WHO canceled the mission to Shifa on Thursday due to security concerns.

The Israel Defense Forces said 140 militants were killed during a days-long raid on the al-Shifa medical center, including “during exchanges of fire.” The Israel Defense Forces said it had arrested 600 suspects and discovered weapons storage facilities in the area.

Lior Soroka in Tel Aviv, along with Bryan Pietsch and Karen DeYoung Washington contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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