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US Secy of State Blinken, Netanyahu hold discussion in Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Credit: Benjamin Netanyahu/Twitter)

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday for a private discussion in Jerusalem, reported The Times of Israel.

The meeting will later be followed by a broader discussion with their respective staffs, the Israel news daily reported.

Netanyahu will be joined by Strategic Affairs Adviser Ron Dermer, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, Military Secretary Avi Gil, Political Adviser Ophir Falk, Chief of Staff Tzachi Braverman, and Ambassador to Washington Michael Herzog, in the discussions, as per the Times of Israel.

Blinken, meanwhile, will be joined by Ambassador Jack Lew, Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Affairs Lisa Grande, and Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East Barbara Leaf.

Notably, Blinken was in Saudi Arabia to push for Gaza ceasefire before he arrived in Israel.

Earlier today, the US Secretary of State also called on Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv, and blamed Hamas for the failure of hostage deal.

“No delays, no excuses,” says Blinken. “The time is now,” Blinken was cited as saying by Times of Israel.

“We also have to be focused on people in Gaza who are suffering in this crossfire of Hamas’s making, and so focused on getting them the assistance they need — the food, medicine, the water, the shelter,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, Blinken discussed a proposal for a ceasefire presented to Hamas by Israel, characterising it as “extraordinarily generous.”

“In this moment the only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas,” he told World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende in the Saudi capital Riyadh, CNN reported. “They (Hamas) have to decide and they have to decide quickly,” he said. “I’m hopeful that they will make the right decision.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, also present in Riyadh, shared a similar sentiment, expressing optimism about the proposal’s acceptance by both Israel and Hamas.