The international community has been pushing for a humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to budge. The latest attempt came during a meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday.
Blinken, who is in the region to help to mediate a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, had previously offered his support for a cessation of hostilities. But in his meeting with Netanyahu, Blinken’s plea for a humanitarian pause in the conflict fell on deaf ears.
The recent days of violence between Israel and Gaza is the worst it has been in years. Since the start of the latest conflict, more than 200 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have died. There has also been a significant amount of destruction in the Gaza Strip, with Israeli airstrikes displacing more than 53,000 people according to the UN.
Blinken’s proposal for a humanitarian truce was meant to allow for the delivery of aid supplies, the restoration of electricity, and the opening of civilian border crossings to the area. However, Netanyahu swiftly rejected the plan. Instead, he reiterated his to goal to annihilate Hamas and said that the conflict would continue “as long as necessary”.
The US Secretary of State also proposed a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas. However, Netanyahu refused to discuss anything political in the meeting, instead focusing largely on the military offensive against Hamas.
This latest rejection of a humanitarian pause is indicative of Netanyahu’s unwillingness to compromise on the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite the mounting losses on both sides and international pressure to end the conflict, the Israeli Prime Minister is determined to continue the fight.
Ultimately, only time will tell if Netanyahu will relent to the international community’s calls for a humanitarian truce. Until then, the violence in the region is likely to continue as both sides refuse to give in.