Blinken says its 'on Hamas' to accept cease-fire deal after meetings with Israeli leaders

UPI
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that it is "on Hamas" to accept a deal including an immediate cease-fire in Gaza as he met with Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Tel Aviv. Photo courtesy Secretary Antony Blinken/X
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June 11 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that the pressure is on Hamas to approve a deal that would implement an immediate cease-fire in Gaza as he met with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv.

Speaking to reporters Blinken referenced the United Nations Security Council's vote on Monday to approve a U.S.-drafted resolution calling for a cease-fire and the release of hostages.

That resolution passed with 14 votes in favor and zero votes opposed, with Russia abstaining from the vote.

"So everyone's vote is in, except for one vote, and that's Hamas. And that's what we wait for. It is on Hamas to move forward with this proposal, or -- or not," Blinken said, adding the deal is what "virtually the entire international community wants to see, and of course what so many families want to see.

"It's also what the people of Gaza so desperately need," he continued.

In Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as opposition leader Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz, who left Netanyahu's war cabinet over the weekend over conflict related to Israel's handling of the war in Gaza.

When asked about Israel's commitment to the deal, Blinken said he received assurances despite vocal opposition from some conservatives in Netanyahu's government.

He also said a statement by Hamas apparently in favor of the deal was "a hopeful sign" but "not dispositive."

"Everyone has said yes except for Hamas," Blinken said. "If Hamas doesn't say yes, then this is clearly on them, on them in terms of a vote to continue to war, not end it; on them in terms of the safety, the well-being of hundreds of thousands, millions of Palestinian women, children and men in Gaza."

Blinken will be attending a conference in Jordan with representatives of Egypt and the United Nations on creating a consistent humanitarian response in Gaza. He will then join President Joe Biden in Apula, Italy for the G7 Leaders' Summit on Thursday and Friday.