Blinken to Hamas: Accept Israel’s ‘extraordinarily generous’ Gaza truce proposal

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Blinken to Hamas: Accept Israel’s ‘extraordinarily generous’ Gaza truce proposal

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hamas on Monday to swiftly accept Israel’s latest and “extraordinarily generous” proposal for a Gaza truce to secure a release of hostages, amid a diplomatic drive to end the war between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas negotiators were expected to meet Qatari and Egyptian mediators in Cairo on Monday to deliver a response to the phased truce proposal Israel presented at the weekend, ahead of a threatened Israeli assault on the southern border city of Rafah.

“The only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas.

They have to decide and they have to decide quickly,” Blinken said at a special meeting of the World Economic Forum held in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“I’m hopeful that they will make the right decision.”

A source briefed on the talks said Israel’s proposal entailed a deal to accept the release of fewer than 40 of the roughly 130 hostages believed to be still held in exchange for freeing Palestinians jailed in Israel.

A second phase of the truce is expected to consist of a “period of sustained calm” – Israel’s compromise response to a Hamas demand for permanent ceasefire.