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US rejects renewed push by Arabs for ceasefire in Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (C) attends a meeting with Arab Foreign Ministers during a day of meetings about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the Jordanian capital Amman on November 4, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has rejected a renewed attempt by Arab countries to force Israel to accept a ceasefire in Gaza, where the regime has been involved in an unrelenting military campaign against the Palestinians since October 7.

Blinken told foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt in a press conference on Saturday in Amman that a ceasefire would only help the resistance movement Hamas to regroup and attack the Israeli regime.

“A ceasefire now would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7,” he said, making a reference to an operation by Hamas which led to some 1,400 deaths among Israeli settlers and troops.

The regime has justified its indiscriminate targeting of civilians in Gaza as a response to the Hamas operation. The US and its allies in Europe have openly supported the carnage by arguing that the regime has a right to defend itself.

Blinken repeated the position on Saturday as his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts called for an immediate halt in the fighting in Gaza and said killing thousands of civilians could not be justified as self-defense.

“The international community's responsibility always is to seek the cessation of hostilities, not promote the continuance of violence,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at the press conference.

“I think we need to get our priorities straight. Right now we have to make sure that this war stops,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said at the same event.

Hamas authorities said on Saturday the death toll from the Israeli war had reached 9,488, including 3,900 children.

Blinken’s Saturday trip to the region was his second since the war erupted on Gaza. Earlier in the day, he met with Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati as well as Saudi, Qatari and Emirati foreign ministers and Palestinian representatives in Amman.

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