US and Arab countries don’t even mention the Gaza ceasefire
But that's OK, Arabs won't fight for Gaza
Talks between the US and Arab countries on the war between Hamas and Israel have yielded no direct results. US Secretary of State Blinken met with Arab leaders in Jordan today. They did not agree on the need for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
According to Blinken, a ceasefire would give Hamas the opportunity to regroup and launch new attacks. But Blinken wants a humanitarian cessation of hostilities, though not as severe as a ceasefire. In his view, this would be an important tool for the protection of civilians, the delivery of aid to Gaza and the removal of foreigners from the territory.
According to Blinken, Israel must take all measures to avoid civilian casualties, but must also have the opportunity to overcome Hamas.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry and others want an immediate unconditional ceasefire. Jordan’s Ayman Safadi called on Blinken to put an end to this madness. According to Safadi, there is a fear in the Arab countries that “the whole region will sink into a sea of hatred and signal this to future generations.”
Calls for a daily vacation
Egyptian officials say that together with Qatar they have proposed a daily humanitarian break of six to 12 hours for relief work in the area and the evacuation of victims. They have also called on Israel to release some women and elderly prisoners in exchange for Hamas hostages. Israel does not seem to have accepted this.
Blinken says Middle Eastern states have so far played an important role in preventing the conflict between Israel and Hamas from spreading. According to Blinken, the US and Arab states agree that Gaza cannot remain under Hamas control. ‘He could talk to countries about the path to a two-state solution’.
The US is Israel’s main ally. Blinken was in Israel yesterday for his third summit since the outbreak of the war. After talks with Blinken, Prime Minister Netanyahu said he did not want a ceasefire until all hostages were released.
The US is also very concerned about the extreme violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. According to Blinken, the violence has worsened since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
The next stop on Blinken’s diplomatic tour is Turkey. According to the US State Department, Blinken will speak in Turkey about the importance of protecting civilians in war zones. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Israel to halt its attacks on Gaza. President Erdogan no longer sees Prime Minister Netanyahu as a dialogue partner, but wants to stay in contact with Israel on Gaza. Earlier, Turkey had expelled its ambassador to Israel. Erdogan has previously stated that Hamas is not a terrorist organization but a freedom movement defending the Palestinian territories.