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Blinken Urges Hamas To Accept 'Extraordinarily Generous' Ceasefire Deal

Both Israeli and Palestinian officials are optimistic that a peace agreement could be on the horizon

Blinken Urges Hamas To Accept 'Extraordinarily Generous' Ceasefire Deal

For the first time since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel, both parties are closer than ever to reaching a ceasefire agreement.

Mediators between Israel and Hamas are expressing optimism over the possibility for a cessation of kinetic conflict in the region following negotiations last week that “broke new ground,” an Israeli official told the Washington Post.

A Hamas official told the Post, “There is hope,” though he added there still remain additional details that need to be clarified.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “the only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas.” He made the remarks on Monday April 29 while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed during Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 attack, while around 77,000 others have been wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Those numbers exclude tens of thousands of others presumed dead under the rubble of bombed homes, shops, and other facilities.

More than 70 percent of those killed are women and children noncombatants, according to the health ministry.

“Hamas has before it a proposal that is extraordinarily, extraordinarily generous on the part of Israel,” Blinken said on Monday, according to media reports. “They have to decide and they have to decide quickly. I'm hopeful that they will make the right decision."

Blinken is scheduled to visit Israel on Wednesday to continue mediating a negotiated agreement.

The latest proposal includes a 40-day ceasefire and may include the release of “potentially thousands” of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention, the Post reported. Roughly six months prior to Oct. 7, Israel was holding more than 1,100 Palestinians without trial or charge.

A former Egyptian official familiar with the negotiations told the Post the initial truce could result in a swap that would secure the release of 33 hostages.

Hamas still seeks the complete and permanent withdrawal of Israeli forces, as well as a guarantee that displaced Gazans will have a right of return to their property.

Israeli leaders say they cannot end the war in Gaza without rooting out the last Hamas battalions they claim are holed up in Rafah, along with more than one million civilians.

“Everything is linked together,” an Israeli official familiar with the deliberations told the Post. “Maybe this time it will work.”

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