Blinken: ‘Does Hamas want to end the suffering it provoked?’

US Secretary of State speaks with family of Israeli-American murdered on October 7th, says it is up to Hamas to secure hostage deal.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday with the family of an Israeli-American man murdered on October 7th and held in the Gaza Strip, and called on the Hamas terror organization to reach a deal with Israel for a hostage release and ceasefire.

Blinken said Wednesday that the ball in is Hamas’ court regarding the proposed ceasefire and hostage deal, urging the Gaza terror group to break the deadlock and accept the proposal which Jerusalem has reportedly agreed to.

The Secretary of State said that there is a “very strong proposal on the table right now,” and it is up to Hamas to act on it.

“The question – will Hamas take it? Does Hamas want to end the suffering that it’s provoked?” Blinken asked. “The question is there but I can tell you that we’re intensely engaged every single day, almost every single hour with Qatar, with Egypt, to see if we can get a ceasefire agreement that will get the hostages out, get more aid in and create a pathway perhaps for a more lasting, secure solution.”

Blinken spoke Tuesday with the parent’s of Itay Chen, the 19-year-old dual-citizen IDF soldier murdered on October 7th whose body has been held by Hamas in Gaza since the invasion.

On Wednesday, Blinken referenced the slain teen in his call for Hamas to accept the current proposed hostage deal.

“No one should have to go through what they’ve gone through and what the other hostage families continue to go through,” Blinken said. “It’s another reason why getting the ceasefire would be so crucial to enable us to bring the hostages home.”

Itay served as a tank crew member in the 7th Armored Brigade’s 75th Battalion.

President Joe Biden released a statement in response to the announced Tuesday.

“Today, our hearts are heavy. Jill and I are devastated to learn that American Itay Chen was killed by Hamas during its brutal terrorist assault on October 7.”

“In December, Itay’s father and brother joined me at the White House, to share the agony and uncertainty they’ve faced as they prayed for the safe return of their loved one.”