Blinken's Exercise In Futility: Mideast Tour #8 To Achieve Gaza Truce

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 10, 2024 - 10:05 PM

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is once again in the Middle East where he's pressing for a Gaza ceasefire. But so far at least, it seems this but more of the same futile and hopeless, contradictory messaging. It is his eighth trip to the region since the Gaza war began.

He first stopped in Cairo Monday before heading to Israel, after which he's expected to go to Jordan and Qatar. The Biden administration is pressing for finalization of what's been described as an "Israeli-proposed" truce plan but which oddly enough the Netanyahu government has distanced itself from.


The finger-pointing continues, suggesting that more of the same gridlock will again lead to failure to secure a deal, also as Israel's military shows no signs of slowing the Rafah offensive. The US is saying Hamas must urgently accept the ceasefire deal on the table while Hamas is saying that Israel must accept it.

In essence, both warring sides are accusing the other of thwarting ceasefire

Blinken once again called on Hamas to accept the plan, which he said has wide international support and has been accepted by Israel. “My message to governments throughout the region… if you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say ‘yes,'” he told reporters before leaving Cairo.

Blinken said: "I believe strongly… that the overwhelming majority of people, whether they’re in Israel, the West Bank, in Gaza… actually want to believe in a future where Israelis and Palestinians would live in peace and security."

However, Hamas has hit back, saying it is in reality Israel's leaders that refuse to end the war - in reference to the three phase deal currently under discussion which would eventually result in the release of hostages and exchange of prisoners.

"We call upon the US administration to put pressure on the occupation to stop the war on Gaza and the Hamas movement is ready to deal positively with any initiative that secures an end to the war," a senior Hamas official identified as Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Hamas also likely sees Washington as a bad faith actor, given Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address both chambers of Congress on July 24. Biden is beset by a growing movement among Democrats to boycott the speech. Billions in aid and weaponry has continued to be pledge to Tel Aviv.

On Monday, the US is pushing for a UN Security Council (UNSC) vote which would give formal UN backing for the current ceasefire deal being considered.

Fighting in southern Gaza has meanwhile only intensified, as Israeli tank forces days ago cut through the so-called Philadelphia corridor all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. This means the IDF now has total control of a strip of land that cuts across southern Rafah, effectively cutting off the Strip from the Egyptian border. An estimated one million internally displaced Palestinians have fled Rafah city and its environs over the past weeks.