In Meeting with Gallant, Blinken Praises Israeli ‘Readiness’ to Make Deal

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The responsibility to accept a deal that would return all of the hostages is on Hamas, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday during a meeting in Israel.

Blinken “commended Israel’s readiness to conclude a deal,” per a U.S. State Department readout of the Monday meeting.

The State Department referred to the deal as a “proposal to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal, secure the release of all hostages and surge humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.”

Blinken stressed that the deal “would advance Israel’s long-term security interests, including by enabling the possibility of further integration in the region,” the department said, noting that the U.S. official “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.”

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of its Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East, wrote that it was “not a savvy move” for Blinken or for Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot to meet in Israel after the latter two quit the Israeli War Cabinet.

“Despite the resignation of Gantz and Eisenkot, Blinken is also meeting with them, making the duo appear like U.S. agents,” Doran wrote. “Not a savvy move for him or them. They all misread the situation.”

Blinken was asked about meeting with Gantz during a press conference at Cairo International Airport in Egypt on Monday.

“On virtually every trip to the region, including in Israel, I’ve met with leaders in Israel, whether part of the government or not part of the government, and Benny Gantz is someone for whom I have deep respect,” the U.S. secretary said.

“The decisions that the Israelis make about their government, who’s in, who’s out—those are decisions for Israelis to make, not for us,” Blinken said. “But I’ll continue to meet with Mr. Gantz and others who lead major political parties in Israel and who are going to be critical to the path forward.”




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