US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, says the US is intently concentrated on the release of all hostages in Gaza, despite the breakdown of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas. Blinken, addressing the media before leaving Dubai, where he was attending the Cop28 climate conference, blames Hamas for the end of the truce. He claims that Hamas reneged on commitments it had made and points to an attack in west Jerusalem the day before as evidence of this. Despite this, Blinken is resolute in the effort to free the hostages and is determined to reunite them with their families, pursuing processes that previously worked successfully for seven days.
At the same time, the United Auto Workers, a major US labor union, has joined the calls for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. The UAW has expressed pride in its decision to support a ceasefire, adding to the growing number of unions that have issued similar calls in recent weeks. It represents a solid stance on the part of labor unions in the US against war and for peace.
High-profile leaders such as Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, have also been vocal in their criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza. Erdogan expressed his concerns to his Emirati counterpart about the negative impact of Israel’s renewed attacks, suggesting that Turkey is committed to working towards a lasting ceasefire and delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.
On another note, a report has emerged, indicating that Israel was aware of Hamas’ attack plan more than a year before a terror attack was carried out by Hamas. According to the report, Israeli officials dismissed the plan as being beyond Hamas’s capabilities, but Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision, leading to more than 1,200 deaths in Israel.
Meanwhile, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the need to avoid further civilian casualties during his talks with Israel’s president and other Middle Eastern leaders. Sunak reiterated the UK’s support for Israel’s right to defend against terrorism, but also called for sustained humanitarian pauses in Gaza to facilitate the release of hostages and provide essential aid to the region.
Finally, US secretary of state Antony Blinken assures that the US remains in strong solidarity with Israel in the face of defending itself, and remains intently focused on getting hostages out of Gaza, along with providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. He also emphasizes the necessity of Israel’s commitment to protecting civilians and ensuring sustained humanitarian assistance moving forward.