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Diplomatic Efforts Intensify Amidst Escalating Conflict in Gaza

During his tour to the region, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged for a humanitarian halt in the violence in Gaza.

Amidst the escalating conflict in Gaza, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a humanitarian pause in the fighting during his visit to the region. 

He proposed the pause to facilitate the release of hostages and allow aid into Gaza while ensuring Israel’s right to defend itself. 

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea, insisting on a temporary ceasefire only if hostages were freed.

Arab Leaders Demand Immediate Ceasefire:

Today, in a crucial meeting held in Jordan, Washington’s top diplomat, Antony Blinken, is set to hear Arab leaders’ demands for an immediate ceasefire. 

The leaders, including those from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Palestinian representatives, stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid, and finding ways to end the deteriorating situation that threatens the region’s security.

Escalation of Violence:

The conflict escalated further as Gaza health officials reported 15 casualties in an Israeli airstrike on an ambulance. 

The attack, which targeted Hamas militants, struck a vehicle in a convoy carrying injured Palestinians at Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa. 

Israel claimed the ambulance was being used by a Hamas terrorist cell and emphasized the area’s status as a battle zone, urging civilians to evacuate for their safety.

Israel’s Ground Forces Encircle Gaza City:

Israel’s ground forces encircled Gaza City after intensifying its bombing campaign, aiming to eradicate Hamas. 

The escalation followed an October 7 assault by Hamas, resulting in 1,400 casualties and over 240 hostages in southern Israel. 

Hamas denied the allegations made by Israel, asserting that they were baseless and aimed at concealing command centers and tunnel entrances in the hospital.

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