Israel’s response “will be powerful” if Hamas breaks ceasefire, warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel’s response “will be powerful” if Hamas breaks ceasefire, warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel’s response will be “very powerful” if Hamas breaks the ceasefire, the country’s prime minister has warned.

Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking as he and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made brief statements after meeting during a visit to the region by President Joe Biden’s foreign representative.

The Israeli Prime Minister said: “If Hamas breaks the calm and attacks Israel, our response will be very powerful.

“And we discussed ways to work together to prevent Hamas from rearming itself with weapons and means of aggression. “

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken shake hands

Mr. Netanyahu also underlined Israel’s determination to defend itself against the actions of Iran, which Israel accuses of helping Hamas.

Mr. Netanyahu, referring to his discussions with Mr. Blinken, said: “We have discussed many regional issues, but none are bigger than Iran. And I can tell you that I hope the United States does not revert to the old JCPOA because we believe that this agreement paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with a international legitimacy.

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It comes like Iran enriches and stores uranium at levels well above those allowed through its 2015 nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Mr Blinken, for his part, pledged to “rally international support” to help Gaza in the aftermath of a devastating conflict, which he said had resulted in “profound” losses on both sides, but to ensure that Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist organization, does not receive any humanitarian aid.

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Oday Basheer, a 20-year-old resident of Gaza, talks about the power cuts and life in the Gaza Strip.

The 11-day conflict in Gaza has claimed more than 250 lives, mostly Palestinians, and caused widespread destruction in the impoverished territory.

Israel said thousands of rockets were fired indiscriminately into its territory from Gaza.

Among those who died were 11 children in Gaza whom the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) treated for trauma from previous conflicts. Sky News spoke to family and friends about one of the young girls.

The ceasefire entered into force on Friday has so far held, but the underlying issues that caused the conflict remain.

Mr Blinken said: “Intense behind-the-scenes diplomacy led by President Biden, who works very closely with the Prime Minister, helped produce last week’s ceasefire. Now we think we have to build on it. It begins with the recognition that the losses on both sides have been profound.

“Losses often boil down to numbers, but behind each number is a human being, a daughter, a son, a father, a mother, a grandparent, a best friend.

“And as the Talmud teaches, to lose a life is to lose the whole world, whether that life is Palestinian or Israeli.

“I stressed to the Prime Minister… the United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against attack.

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There was a ceasefire called after 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

« At the same time, as we continue to work together to counter Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, we know that to prevent a return to violence, we must use the space created to deal with a larger set. wide of underlying issues and challenges.

“And it starts by tackling the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and starting to rebuild.”

During his tour of the region, Blinken will face the same underlying issues that have hampered peace for more than a decade.

In Israel, Mr. Netanyahu is fighting for his political life after an inconclusive fourth election in two years and faces mounting criticism from Israelis who say they have ended the fighting prematurely.

The conflict erupted after Hamas – which runs the administration in Gaza – stepped up rocket attacks against Israel after weeks of clashes in Jerusalem between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around the Al Aqsa Mosque , a holy place in an area that Muslims and Jews consider sacred.

Adding to the tension, an Israeli soldier and a civilian were stabbed and wounded in East Jerusalem on Monday before police shot and killed a man they called a terrorist attacker.

Mr Blinken will travel to Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has no power in Gaza and is considered by many Palestinians to have lost all legitimacy, and will then visit Egypt and Jordan neighbors.


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