Written by 11:19 World

Hamas and Israel Face Pressure to Embrace Cease-Fire Adopted by U.N.

A day after the United Nations Security Council endorsed a U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal for the Gaza Strip, the focus shifted on Tuesday to the willingness of Israel and Hamas, under growing international pressure to end the war, to make a deal.

Each side made positive but vague statements about the cease-fire plan and blamed the other for prolonging a war that has devastated Gaza. But neither said it would formally embrace the proposal, which was outlined last month in a speech by President Biden and was the basis of the 14-0 vote in the Security Council on Monday.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, touring the region for the eighth time since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 assault on Israel, said on Tuesday that the fate of the cease-fire proposal rested with Hamas’s top leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Husam Badran, a senior Hamas official, countered that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was “the sole obstacle to reaching an agreement that would end the war.”

An Israeli government official said in a statement that the proposed deal “enables Israel to achieve” its war goals, including destroying Hamas’s capabilities and freeing all the hostages held in Gaza by Hamas and its allies. But the official, who could be quoted only on that condition that the name and office be withheld, stopped short of saying whether Israel would accept the agreement.

Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly declined to take a firm stand on the plan. Last week, he sowed doubts when he called the idea of a negotiated permanent cease-fire — which Hamas has called essential — a “nonstarter.” Far-right elements of his governing coalition have threatened to bolt if Mr. Netanyahu accepts a cease-fire, potentially toppling him from power.

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Last modified: 12 June 2024
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