Blinken arrives in Israel to push for Gaza truce deal

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Blinken arrives in Israel to push for Gaza truce deal
Tel Aviv: The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, arrived in Israel where he will meet the country’s President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to push forward the Gaza ceasefire deal .

This is the seventh visit of Blinken since the war between Hamas and Israel broke out on October 7, 2023.

The Israel Prime Minister’s office in a statement on Tuesday night said that the meeting with Herzog will be held in Tel Aviv while Blinken will interact with Netanyahu at the latter’s office in Jerusalem.

The Secretary of State will also meet Israel Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi. Blinken will also meet the families of the hostages.

The top US diplomat arrived in the Middle East on Monday and had interactions with the Jordanian and Saudi officials regarding peace in the region.

Israel has agreed to the suggestion of the mediators for the release of 33 of its hostages (women, elderly, and those suffering from diseases) in the custody of Hamas in exchange for around 600 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails. Many of these Palestinians kept in jails are accused in murder cases.

Blinken had earlier announced that he would not arrive in Israel during his present visit to the Middle East but sources in Israel Prime Minister’s office told IANS that there were some bottlenecks in the indirect mediatory talks being held at Cairo between Hamas and Israel.

The Secretary of State will be discussing with the Israeli leaders the issues leading to the blockade in mediatory talks.

Netanyahu had warned that if the mediatory talks being held at Cairo do not materialise, Israel would invade the Rafah region in the Gaza Strip.

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