Blinken says US working to ‘bridge remaining gaps’ on Hamas-Israel deal

webnexttech | Blinken says US working to 'bridge remaining gaps' on Hamas-Israel deal

When asked about a possible Israel military offensive on Rafah, Blinken said the US had not seen such plans, reiterating that Washington wants a “clear and implementable plan” to ensure civilians are “out of harm’s way”. During the Oct 7 attack by Hamas, militants seized about 250 Israeli and foreign hostages, dozens of whom were released during a week-long truce in November. Israel believes about 130 captives remain in Gaza including 32 presumed dead. The assault killed about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures. Israel’s retaliatory campaign to destroy Hamas has killed at least 31,490 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory. Israel has so far refused to withdraw from Gaza, saying such a move would amount to a victory for Hamas. Netanyahu’s office said late Thursday that Hamas “is continuing to hold unrealistic demands” but that an update on truce talks would be submitted to Israel’s war cabinet on Friday.

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