Netanyahu rejects Hamas ceasefire plan after meeting with Blinken: NPR

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 28, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Abeer Sultan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images


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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 28, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

Abeer Sultan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the ceasefire plan presented by the Palestinian Hamas movement to end the war in Gaza.

Netanyahu described the plan as “fake” and noted that it would have left Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip at the end of the interim truce.

“This will lead to another massacre,” Netanyahu said in a press conference hours after meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken says he is in the region to press for a ceasefire that would allow more aid into Gaza and the release of hostages held by Hamas there. Hamas also wants the release of thousands of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostage, according to Israeli officials. Israel launched an air and ground campaign in Gaza, killing more than 27,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

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Netanyahu said that lasting peace can only be achieved through “Complete victory” of the IDF against Hamas, arguing that anything less will only embolden Iranian-backed militias across the region.

He said: “Without achieving complete victory, Iran and its terrorist proxies – Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and others – will be emboldened to subvert moderate countries in the Middle East; they will threaten the entire free world.”

He added, “Only complete victory will prevent this. Complete victory is within our reach,” saying that such an outcome is a matter of months, not years.

The United States still sees room for negotiation

Blinken said there was still room to continue negotiations, telling reporters that “while there are some things that are unclear about Hamas' response, we believe it creates space to reach an agreement and we will work on it relentlessly until we get there.” “.

Hamas' proposal on Tuesday raised hopes in Gaza that the fighting might end or stop. Thousands of people fled to the city of Rafah, located on the southern border of the coastal strip with Egypt, to escape the Israeli attack, with nowhere left to go. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant hinted earlier in the week that the IDF might move there next.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Wednesday that the Israeli attack on Rafah “will exacerbate an already humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences.”

Blinken said he raised his concerns about this with Israeli officials during his visit and reminded them that they have a duty to protect civilians, even though he has said this many times before.

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NPR's Michelle Kelemen contributed to this report from Tel Aviv.

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