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Hamas accuses Blinken of seeking to exonerate Israel from obstructing Gaza ceasefire

June 13, 2024 at 4:26 pm

The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters during the press briefing at the State Department in Washington, United States, March 13, 2024. [Celal Güneş/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian group, Hamas, has accused US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, of seeking to exonerate Israel from obstructing the ceasefire, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Blinken’s attempts to exonerate the (Israeli) Occupation and hold us responsible for obstructing a ceasefire are part of his country’s complicity in the war of annihilation,” Hamas said in a statement late Wednesday.

On Monday, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting a Gaza ceasefire proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden.

On 31 May, Biden said that Israel presented a three-phase deal that would end hostilities in Gaza and secure the release of hostages held in the coastal enclave.

The plan includes a ceasefire, a hostage-prisoner exchange and the reconstruction of Gaza.

Hamas said it dealt “positively” and “responsibly” with all proposals to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and release all detainees.

READ: Hamas: Israel’s policy of starvation an intensification of genocide

“Israel continued to reject any permanent ceasefire, in a clear contradiction with the UN Security Council resolution and Biden’s initiative,” Hamas said.

It urged Washington to pile pressure on Israel to accept a deal that would lead to a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Blinken said that Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the ceasefire proposal outlined by Biden, adding that “some of the changes are workable, some are not”.

A day earlier, Blinken said Netanyahu had “reaffirmed his commitment” to a Gaza ceasefire proposal during their meeting on Monday evening.

Netanyahu or any member of his government has not publicly welcomed the proposal.

Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since a 7 October, 2023 attack by Hamas, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire.

More than 37,200 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and more than 84,900 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: Hamas says response to proposals represents commitment to stop aggression