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Blinken to visit Israel again this week to facilitate hostage release

Blinken to visit Israel again this week to facilitate hostage release U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (photo: GettyImages)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to visit Israel and the United Arab Emirates this week to assist in securing the release of all hostages abducted by Hamas, according to Reuters.

"In Israel and the West Bank, Secretary Blinken will discuss Israel’s right to defend itself consistent with international humanitarian law, as well as continued efforts to secure the release of remaining hostages, protect civilian life during Israel’s operations in Gaza, and accelerate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza," stated the U.S. State Department.

A senior official from the State Department revealed that Blinken will also discuss what Washington wants to see in Gaza if Israel is able to eliminate Hamas.

It is noted that following the onset of one of the bloodiest chapters in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Blinken has engaged in serious diplomatic efforts with Israeli and Arab leaders to help prevent an escalation of the war.

This week, he will discuss the future of Gaza and the necessity for a lasting political resolution to the long-standing conflict. The head of the State Department ruled out the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the continuous displacement of its population, and the reduction of territory, although a final plan is yet to be determined during negotiations with Arab states, Israel, and Palestinian leaders.

Hostage release

Israel has signed an agreement with Hamas for a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of hostages.

The first exchange took place on November 24, with Hamas releasing 24 individuals, including 13 Israeli citizens and 11 foreigners. They were transported to Israeli hospitals, where they will reunite with their families.

On November 25, the Red Cross received the second group of hostages released by Hamas, consisting of 17 individuals, including 4 foreigners.

Additionally, on November 26, Hamas released another 17 hostages, including both Israeli citizens and foreigners.

For more details on the agreement between Israel and Hamas and how long the war may continue, read the article by RBC-Ukraine.