By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 04, Dec 2023, 17:43 pm IST | UPDATED: 05, Dec 2023, 20:04 pm IST
Blinken reiterated US support for peace in the region and said the US was working hard to secure the release of Israeli hostages. He said the US had achieved a seven-day pause, during which some people were able to return to their families and that the US was pursuing the same process.
He added that the US also supported Israel’s right to defend itself from future attacks, but stressed the need to do so in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and ensures humanitarian assistance. He said the US was focused on both tasks at the same time.
He said the US remained “intensely focused” on getting everyone home, and that he had also worked on this issue on Saturday. He said the US was also trying to prevent the conflict from spreading or escalating in other places. He said the US was using its diplomacy to look at the long-term prospects for peace in Gaza, and for Israelis and Palestinians in general.
Blinken’s statement came as the truce between Israel and Hamas expired after seven days, according to CNN. The two sides could not agree on the release of more hostages held by Hamas. Israel and Hamas resumed their war in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning, with Israeli jets striking Hamas targets in Gaza shortly after the cease-fire ended at 7 a.m. local time.
Blinken had met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday, as reported by CNN. His visit was amid increased Israeli settler violence in the region following the October 7 attack on Israel.