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Hamas proposed unworkable changes to cease-fire plan, Blinken says

WorldHamas proposed unworkable changes to cease-fire plan, Blinken says

Blinken rejected that suggestion Wednesday, saying, “Israel accepted the proposal, as it was and as it is.”

He criticized Hamas as the sole holdout.

“A deal is on the table” that “the entire world is behind,” Blinken said at a news conference. “Israel has accepted it, and Hamas could have answered with a single word: yes.”

Hamas took 12 days to issue its official reply. “You get to a point where, if one side continues to change its demands, you have to question whether they’re proceeding in good faith or not,” Blinken said.

“The longer this goes on, the more people will suffer,” he added. “It’s time for the haggling to stop.”

This week Blinken has ramped up pressure on Hamas’ military leader, Yahya Sinwar, to accept the deal, adding that Netanyahu confirmed his acceptance when they met Monday night.

The two parties disagree over whether the initial six-week cease-fire should be permanent, as Hamas demands, and whether Israel should completely withdraw from Gaza, with U.S. officials trying to bridge that wide divide.

Until something gives, the violence on the ground will continue.

U.N. probe says both sides committed war crimes

The report from the U.N. independent commission said Hamas “deliberately killed” civilians, “mistreated” hostages and carried out “sexual and gender-based violence” against Israeli and foreign nationals on Oct. 7.

“These actions constitute war crimes and violations and abuses” of international humanitarian law and human rights law, it said.

It accused Israel of the same, as well as crimes against humanity.

The report said Israel’s “chosen strategy for the use of force” had resulted in “immense numbers of civilian casualties and widespread destruction” in Gaza.

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