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Jun 12, 2024, 12:04pm EDT
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Semafor Signals

Blinken casts doubt on swift resolution to Israel-Hamas ceasefire talks

Insights from The New York Times, CNN, and Al-Monitor

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Gaza
REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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The News

The Hamas response to the US-backed Gaza ceasefire agreement includes changes that may not all be achievable, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. The changes mean that the war in Gaza “will go on” until the disagreements are hashed out, he said.

Blinken did not give any specifics on the exact wording in the Hamas response, but stressed Washington would continue negotiations until both sides can agree on a proposal. “I believe those gaps are bridgeable — it doesn’t mean they will be bridged,” Blinken warned.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Ceasefire agreement would avert war with Hezbollah

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New York Times

Attention is focused on Gaza, but northern Israel has become a hotspot in the fighting as Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah has ramped up shelling and sending rockets across the Lebanese border. The situation is at risk of spiraling into another war, the International Crisis Group’s Mairav Zonszein wrote for The New York Times. Stabilizing the north, Zonszein wrote, requires “a conclusive resolution of the conflict in Gaza that Hamas accepts.” Israeli authorities have prioritized defeating Hamas, but Hezbollah has a “far more potent” arsenal and is becoming increasingly advanced. Hezbollah may also be prolonging its provocation to study Israel’s defense capabilities in preparation for war, Zonszein argued.

Hamas negotiator believes group has advantage in talks

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Source:  
CNN

Yahya Sinwar, a top Hamas leader and negotiator in any ceasefire deal, believes that his group remains strong enough to survive Israel’s attempts to destroy it and ultimately has an upper hand in negotiations, US officials told CNN. That’s a “discouraging assessment” from Washington: It could mean Hamas “doesn’t yet feel sufficient pressure to reach an agreement that would end the fighting — even as Palestinian civilians continue to perish.”

Israel’s Rafah offensive ‘jeopardizing’ peace treaty with Egypt

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Al-Monitor

Israel’s offensive in Rafah has continued in the absence of a ceasefire deal, and the militarization of the border city is “jeopardizing” Israel’s decades-long peace treaty with Egypt, according to Al-Monitor. While both Israeli and Egyptian officials are confident the rising tensions will not lead to a full-fledged war between the two countries, they could further complicate ceasefire negotiations. One potential pressure point: Egypt will not let aid trucks pass through the border crossing with Gaza at Rafah until it is not under Israeli control. If Israel let Palestinian authorities take control, that might be “a step in the right direction” to lower tensions with Egypt and, in turn, push Hamas into accepting a ceasefire agreement, Al-Monitor argued.

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