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Blinken lands in Israel for Gaza talks with Netanyahu

The US secretary of state said he would advise Israel against going through with its planned ground assault in Rafah. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council will vote on a US-sponsored cease-fire resolution.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Tel Aviv on Friday ahead of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It’s the final stop on Blinken’s sixth visit to the region since Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Blinken is expected to urge Israel not to go ahead with its planned ground assault in Rafah, and instead put forward alternatives.

Earlier in the week, Blinken and Arab leaders discussed efforts for a cease-fire as well as Gaza’s future after the conflict.

Security Council to vote on cease-fire

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council will vote for a US-sponsored resolution on Friday that calls for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The draft text calls for “an immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides, allow for the delivery of essential humanitarian assistance, and alleviate humanitarian suffering.

Blinken said earlier in Saudi Arabia that the resolution “does call for an immediate ceasefire tied to the release of hostages, and we hope very much that countries will support that.”

China has said it would support the Security Council taking “meaningful” action to end the fighting in Gaza, while Russia has criticized the draft text for not calling for a cease-fire explicitly enough.

To pass in the Security Council, a resolution needs at least nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the five permanent members — the US, France, Britain, Russia, or China.

Separately, the United Kingdom and Australia also called for an “immediate cessation of fighting” in Gaza.

Source: Dw

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