The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken reiterated on Saturday that the United States supported “humanitarian pauses” in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, but rejected calls for a “ceasefire” demanded by Arab countries.
“The United States believes that all of these efforts will be made easier by these humanitarian pauses,” Blinken said at a news conference in Amman of efforts to spare Palestinian civilians and speed up the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip.
He was speaking alongside his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts following a ministerial meeting in Amman with five Arab countries.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi called for “an end to the war” in Gaza, calling it “war crimes” by Israel.
“We do not accept the notion of self-defense,” he said, while his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Choukri, demanded an “immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”
Mr. Blinken reiterated in this regard that the United States considered that such a ceasefire would only “keep Hamas in place,” exposing the divergent perceptions of the conflict between the United States and Israel. on one side and Arab countries on the other.
During a trip to Israel on Friday, Mr. Blinken was met with a refusal to accept humanitarian pauses but promised to persevere on this subject.
“Israel must take all necessary measures to protect Palestinian civilians,” he said while reaffirming that Israel had the right and obligation to defend itself after the bloody attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7. .
Since that date, at least 1,400 people have died, according to Israeli authorities, the majority of them civilians killed on the same day of the attack of unprecedented scale perpetrated by Hamas.
In retaliation, Israel declared a war to “annihilate” Hamas, relentlessly shelling the Gaza Strip, under the control of the Islamist movement. These strikes killed nearly 9,500 people including 3,900 children, according to a latest report from Hamas.