Blinken arrives in Tel Aviv to advocate for Gaza ceasefire

TEL AVIV, Israel — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday, following visits to Cairo and Saudi Arabia, as part of intensified efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The secretary’s visit aligns with the United States’ strategy to propose a resolution at the U.N. Security Council demanding an immediate truce in Gaza, aiming to alleviate the pressure on its ally.

The cease-fire discussions, facilitated by the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar, have focused on a proposed six-week halt in hostilities. This pause would facilitate the exchange of 40 Israeli hostages for hundreds of Palestinians currently detained in Israeli prisons, a step seen as crucial for allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza where severe food shortages threaten famine.

During his time in Cairo, Blinken remarked on the “good progress” made in discussions between the United States and Saudi Arabia regarding the normalization of Saudi-Israeli relations. He expressed optimism about reaching a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, highlighting the concerted efforts to bring an end to the hostilities.