Updated February 8th, 2024 at 23:09 IST
Blinken Says Israel-Hamas Truce Deal Still Possible After Netanyahu Rejects It Calling 'Delusional'
"While there are some clear non-starters in Hamas's response, we do think it creates space for agreement to be reached," Blinken said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has proposed that a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas “is still possible” shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the framework proposal calling the Hamas’s conditions in the document as “delusional.”
"While there are some clear non-starters in Hamas's response, we do think it creates space for agreement to be reached, and we will work at that relentlessly," Blinken told reporters in Tel Aviv after meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. The latter rejected the propects of a four and a half month temporary pause to fighting in exchange for the release of hostages.
Netanyahu: ‘Prepare to operate in southern Gaza city of Rafah’
Israel’s Prime Minister vowed to press ahead with IDF’s offensive in Gaza, saying that he has ordered his troops to "prepare to operate" in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of the displaced Palestinians have been crammed into the makeshift tents bordering Egypt. Netanyahu pledged for an "absolute victory" in Gaza saying that the victory over Hamas “was just months away.”
“We are on the way to an absolute victory,” Netanyahu asserted in a televised news conference, after meeting with Blinken. He added, that adding that the IDF’s operation is expected to last months, if not years. "There is no other solution,” he maintained. He rejected the deal saying that Hamas cannot be left to return to rule in the besieged enclave. Israel is the “only power” capable of guaranteeing security in the long term, said defiant Netanyahu.
In response to Netanyahu’s remarks on rejection of the deal, a senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told agencies that the Israeli leader aims to pursue the conflict in the Middle East. “Netanyahu’s comments are a form of political bravado, indicating his intention to pursue the conflict in the region,” Zuhri was quoted as saying. Furthermore he added, “The movement (Hamas) is prepared to deal with all options."
Meanwhile, Israeli premier labelled the negotiations with Hamas as “bizarre” adding that they were "not going anywhere.” "There is no other solution but a complete and final victory," Mr Netanyahu told a press conference. “If Hamas will survive in Gaza, it's only a question of time until the next massacre,” he warned.
Published February 8th, 2024 at 23:09 IST