Antony Blinken Heads To Egypt And Israel To Advocate For Gaza Ceasefire

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit Egypt and Israel on Monday, aiming to push for a Gaza ceasefire.

What Happened: Blinken’s visit comes at a crucial time as Washington seeks to pressure Hamas and Israel to agree on a ceasefire in Gaza and prevent the conflict from spreading to Lebanon, Reuters reported on Monday.

This marks Blinken’s eighth trip to the region since Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7, leading to the bloodiest episode in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades.

During his visit, Blinken will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo before heading to Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as per the State Department schedule.

The visit follows U.S. President Joe Biden‘s three-phase ceasefire proposal from May 31, which includes a permanent end to hostilities, the release of hostages, and Gaza’s reconstruction.

Hamas’s attack resulted in 1,200 deaths and 250 hostages, while Israel’s response has led to over 37,000 Palestinian deaths, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

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On Saturday, Israeli forces rescued four hostages in Gaza, killing 274 Palestinians in the process, per Gaza’s health ministry.

Blinken’s visit follows the resignation of Israeli minister Benny Gantz from Netanyahu’s emergency government, which could impact the government’s stability.

The conflict with Lebanon’s Hezbollah remains tense, with hostilities escalating. Blinken will discuss the ceasefire proposal and the need to prevent further conflict escalation, according to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Why It Matters: Blinken’s visit comes ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s planned visit to the U.S. in July.

Blinken has been actively engaging with regional leaders to discuss the future governance of Gaza. Blinken visited Saudi Arabia to deliberate on Gaza’s governance post-conflict with senior leaders from Qatar, Egypt, the U.A.E., and Jordan.

Biden has also urged both Israel and Hamas to accept a comprehensive three-phase ceasefire deal, emphasizing the need to end the conflict and release hostages.

Furthermore, the United Nations added both Israel’s military and Hamas to a global list of offenders for violations against children in 2023.

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Photo by Alexandros Michailidis on Shutterstock

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Pooja Rajkumari

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralAntony BlinkenGazaIsrael-Hamas WarPooja Rajkumari
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