U.S.-allied Arab states urge Blinken for Gaza ceasefire

U.S.-allied Arab states are set to exert pressure on Secretary of State Antony Blinken, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during a meeting of foreign ministers in Amman scheduled for Saturday, November 4. This diplomatic push comes as Washington endeavors to convince Israel to agree to temporary pauses in hostilities to allow the entry of much-needed humanitarian aid.

Despite mounting international appeals for a ceasefire, the United States has thus far refrained from endorsing a comprehensive halt to hostilities but has instead proposed localized ceasefires. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected this proposal after meeting with Blinken on Friday.

Secretary of State Blinken is embarking on his second visit to the region since the conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7. The outbreak of violence followed an incursion into Israel by the Islamist militant Palestinian group from Gaza, leading to extensive casualties and the taking of more than 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.

During his visit to Amman, Blinken held discussions with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. Earlier in the week, the Jordanian foreign ministry issued a statement affirming that Safadi would convey to Blinken the urgent need for Israel to cease its military operations in Gaza. In the statement, Safadi asserted that Israel’s actions were tantamount to committing war crimes, particularly through the bombing of civilian areas and the imposition of a siege.

Safadi further cautioned that Israel’s unwillingness to terminate the conflict was heightening regional tensions, potentially leading to a broader regional conflict that could have severe implications for global peace and stability.