Blinken says still ‘space for agreement’ on Gaza hostages

অনলাইন ডেক্স প্রকাশের সময় : ফেব্রুয়ারী ৮, ২০২৪, ৩:৫২ অপরাহ্ন
Blinken says still ‘space for agreement’ on Gaza hostages

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday an agreement to return hostages from Gaza remained possible and called for protecting civilians as Israel prepares military action in packed Rafah.

Blinken’s call for moderation put a brave face on remarks shortly beforehand by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who rejected Hamas calls for a ceasefire as part of the Qatari-brokered hostage deal and vowed military action in Rafah.

“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 until we get there,” Blinken told reporters in Tel Aviv hours after meeting Netanyahu.

Asked about Netanyahu’s rejection, Blinken said he is “not going to speak for Israel” but that the Hamas counter-proposal at least offered an opportunity “to pursue negotiations” on hostages.

Blinken said he would meet Thursday with families of hostages and was committed to seeking the release of all of them.

“The sheer agony not knowing the fate of your loved one, it’s almost unimaginable,” Blinken said.

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