Blinken: No excuses – Hamas must accept Israel’s ceasefire offer

Blame will be totally on Hamas if they reject it, says Secretary of State Blinken.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the blame will be completely on Hamas if it does not accept the ceasefire and hostage exchange deal now on the table.

At his meeting with President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, Blinken said, “We’re determined to get a cease-fire that brings the hostages home, and to get it now. And the only reason that that wouldn’t be achieved is because of Hamas.”

“There is a proposal on the table,” he stated, “and as we’ve said, no delays, no excuses. The time is now. And the time is now long past due to bring the hostages home to their families.”

Before coming to Israel, Blinken had stopped off at Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He had also used the line of “no more delays, no more excuses” on Tuesday, when saying that Israel had “demonstrated that they’re willing to compromise, and now it’s on Hamas.”

On Monday Blinken had called Israel’s latest proposal “extraordinarily generous.”

While details of the deal have not been formally released, Hebrew media have reported that it contains many concessions to the terrorist organization besides a weeks-long cessation of the war.

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These include the release of hundreds or more jailed terrorists, including multiple murderers, allowing even fighting-age males to return to northern Gaza without direct Israeli security checks on them first. It also might include the possibility of withdrawing from the wide road the IDF has built through the middle of the Strip to divide the north from the south and facilitate security operations.

In exchange, Israel would receive 33 live hostages: females, children, men over age 50, and those who are ill.

Right-wing members of the coalition are opposed to the deal, with both Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir hinting that they would bring down the government over it.

They instead want the IDF to finally invade Rafah, Hamas’ last military stronghold, saying that a decisive military victory would be the best way to pressure the terrorists into giving up their human bargaining chips.

The U.S. has rejected the idea of a massive battle in Rafah because it says Israel cannot guarantee the safety of over a million Gazan civilians who fled there from other parts of the Strip.

Blinken also mentioned the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn enclave, and in what was surely music to Israeli ears, America’s top diplomat put the blame there as well on Hamas.

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The civilians in Gaza “are suffering in this crossfire of Hamas’s making,” he said, while noting that assisting them with food, medicine and shelter “is also very much on our minds and in the work that we’re doing.”

In widespread anti-Israel protests around the world, Hamas’ October 7th invasion, massacre of 1,200 and abduction of 253 people that sparked the ongoing war is never mentioned.

Also ignored is every country’s right and duty to protect its people by destroying enemies who have openly stated their genocidal intentions as Hamas officials have repeatedly done, both before and after their surprise assault.

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