Blinken arrives in Israel to discuss ceasefire deal with Netanyahu

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Monday (June 10) ahead of talks on a Gaza ceasefire deal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

Blinken earlier met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo and has been urging leaders in the region to press Hamas to say yes to the ceasefire proposal outlined by President Joe Biden on May 31.

Blinken said Hamas was the only outlier in not accepting the proposal for a three-phase deal involving the release of hostages and talks toward an end to fighting, to which he said Israel had agreed.

A senior Hamas official told Reuters that Blinken’s Gaza ceasefire comments were “biased to Israel”.

The visit to the region is Blinken’s eighth since Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, triggering the bloodiest episode in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.