All Israel

US Secretary Blinken tells Herzog the only reason ceasefire wouldn’t be achieved is 'because of Hamas'

Blinken pushes for hostage deal in 7th visit to Middle East since start of Gaza War

Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets with Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State in Tel Aviv on May 1, 2024 (Photo: Tomer Appelbaum/POOL).

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel on Wednesday for meetings with Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. 

This marks Blinken's seventh visit to the Middle East since the Hamas invasion and attack on Israel on October 7, with Israel being the final stop on his regional tour.

The U.S. secretary met with Herzog on Wednesday morning and said the U.S. is “working with relentless determination to get the ceasefire that brings the hostages home.” 

Blinken also said the Biden administration is “focused on people in Gaza for suffering in this crossfire of Hamas' making.” 

The U.S. leader appeared to blame Hamas for the delay in reaching an agreement in the months-long negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage deal.

“We're determined to get a ceasefire that brings the hostages home, and to get it now,” Blinken stated. “And the only reason that that wouldn't be achieved is because of Hamas.” 

He called on the international community to make the return of the hostages a priority. 

“We yearn for the immediate return of the hostages; this is and should be the top priority of the international community,” Blinken declared.

He stated that the U.S. focus on the hostages is not meant to overlook the situation of civilians in Gaza.

"At the same time, even as we're working with relentless determination to get the ceasefire that brings the hostages home, we also have to be focused on people in Gaza who are suffering in this crossfire of Hamas’s making, and so focused on getting them the assistance they need,” Blinken explained. 

Blinken echoed comments from President Herzog about efforts to use the International Criminal Court against Israel, saying the Israeli justice system is “very strong.” 

"Israel has a very strong legal system, very strong adjudication and law enforcement system, and it has pursued legal steps from the highest authorities in this land to any other citizen," he remarked. 

"Therefore, trying to use the International Criminal Court against Israel, which is fighting terror, is a clear and present danger to democracies and to free peace-loving nations who pursue the norms of international law.” 

Blinken will meet with Netanyahu later on Wednesday, where he is expected to push for a pause in the IDF’s military operations in Gaza until a hostage deal can be negotiated. 

On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu again promised to enter the southern town of Rafah, where Hamas still maintains control.

He told representatives of the hostage families: "We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate the Hamas battalions there with or without a deal.”  

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories