“Blinken: Ceasefire Dilemma Amid Gaza Conflict”

Antony Blinken says been calling for humanitarian pauses in the war but has stopped short of calling for a ceasefire.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said an Israeli ceasefire in Gaza would allow Hamas to regroup and carry out further attacks.

But he added that Israel had to take “every possible measure” to prevent civilian casualties in the enclave.

Mr Blinken made the comments on Saturday in Jordan after holding talks with Arab leaders, who want an immediate halt to the fighting.

They have accused Israel of committing war crimes.

“We don’t accept that it is a self-defence,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said at a news conference with Mr Blinken following the talks, which also involved Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The US continues to support Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas.

Mr Safadi described the conflict as a “raging war that is killing civilians, destroying their homes, their hospitals, their schools, their mosques and their churches.”

“It cannot be justified under any pretext and it will not bring Israel security, it will not bring the region peace.”

There have been concerns that the war could draw in other regional actors and lead to the destabilisation of the Middle East.

Mr Blinken, who has been calling for humanitarian pauses in the fighting instead of a ceasefire, said that while the US disagreed with Arab leaders on some of the means to achieve a lasting peace in the region, their goal was the same.

“We all understand that we not only have an interest, but a responsibility to do everything we can to chart a better path forward together,” he said.