Blinken To Herzog, Families Of Hostages: No Excuses For Hamas To Reject Prisoner Deal

Blinken To Herzog, Families Of Hostages: No Excuses For Hamas To Reject Prisoner Deal
Blinken To Herzog, Families Of Hostages: No Excuses For Hamas To Reject Prisoner Deal

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel and met Wednesday with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv. Blinken urged a ceasefire-prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Hamas terror group, and blamed the latter for the delay in such a deal, according to an Arutz Sheva report.

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“We’re determined to get a ceasefire that brings the hostages home, and to get it now,” Blinken said. “And the only reason that wouldn’t be achieved is because of Hamas.”

Blinken added that there are currently “no excuses” for rejecting the proposed deal, which would see Israel. But he added that parallel to efforts to free the hostages held by Hamas, Israel must do even more to help the people of Gaza.

“There is a proposal on the table. And as we’ve said, no delays, no excuses. The time is now,” he added. “And the time is now long past due to bring the hostages home to their families. At the same time, even as we’re working with relentless determination to get the fire cease that brings the hostages home, we also have to be focused on people in Gaza who are suffering in this crossfire of Hamas’s making, and so focused on getting them the assistance they need.”

Thanking Blinken for his “strong support,” Herzog stressed that the war “was waged upon us.”

“We yearn for the immediate return of the hostages, this is and should be the top priority of the international community. “I think there should be a unanimous decision of the international community that freeing the hostages is the utmost priority.”

He stressed that while Israel is working to defend its citizens and create a better future for the entire Middle East, “our enemies and other elements are trying to undermine the entire process by using international legal forums that were established in order to have a world order that pursues peace, and pursues the values ​​and norms that we all believe in the modern world – especially the efforts done at the International Criminal Court.”

“Israel has a very strong legal system,” he added, “very strong adjudication and law enforcement system and it has pursued legal steps from the highest authorities in this land to any other citizen. We’re very proud of it, and the rule of international law regarding complementarity is a basic lawyer world norm.”

“Therefore, trying to use the International Criminal Court against Israel which is fighting terror, is a clear and present danger to democracies and to free peace-loving nations who pursue the norms of international law, and I call upon all our allies and friends to object and reject any such efforts.”

The Secretary of State later met with families of hostages and reiterated the US’s active support for bringing all of their loved ones home.

Blinken in Tel Aviv

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