The Secretary of State of the United States, Anthony Blinkensays the Biden administration would like to see a new extension of the ceasefire agreement in Israel’s war with Hamas after the current one expires to secure the release of additional hostages held by the terrorist group and increase humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza.
While preparing to perform his third visit to the Middle East Since the war began with the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel, Blinken said Wednesday that in addition to discussing short-term logistical and operational planning, The Biden administration believes it is imperative to discuss ideas on the future governance of Gaza if Israel achieves its stated goal of eradicating Hamas.
Israel and Arab nations have resisted such discussions about the future government, as Israeli officials focus on the war and Arab leaders insist that the immediate priority must be ending fighting that has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians. .
The extension of the current agreement expires this Wednesday.
“Looking ahead to the next few days, we will focus on doing what we can to extend the pause so that we can continue to remove more hostages and bring in more humanitarian assistance.”Blinken told reporters in Brussels, where he was attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers. NATO.
“And we will discuss with Israel how it can achieve its goal of ensuring that the October 7 terrorist attacks never occur again, while maintaining and increasing humanitarian assistance and minimizing further suffering of Palestinian civilians.”
Before leaving Brussels for Israel and West BankHe added: “Everyone is focused on the day of, on what is happening in Gaza right now, but we also need to be focused at the same time, and we are in talks with many other countries. — about what I call the ‘day after’ and ‘the day after the day after’: I mean, what will happen in Gaza once the campaign is over?”
The first Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that Israeli forces will eventually restart military operations after the conclusion of the current temporary ceasefire that has allowed an exchange of hostages taken by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
US President Joe Biden has said he would like the pause to continue for as long as possible. Biden and Blinken have also stressed the importance of planning for post-conflict Gazaas well as the need to resume negotiations for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian State. Netanyahu opposes a Palestinian state and has said he is the only Israeli leader who can prevent one from being formed.
“We believe that this is the only path towards lasting peace, towards lasting security, towards the preservation of Israel as a strong, secure and democratic Jewish state and for the Palestinians to have their legitimate aspirations for statehood and self-determination,” he said. Blinken.
(with information from AP)