Permanent ceasefire plans for Gaza trigger backlash in Israel

A Hamas spokesman on Wednesday criticised Mr Blinken’s comments, saying they were intended to put pressure on the group and absolve Israel of responsibility for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters the terrorist group was still studying the proposal.

Mr Blinken later on Wednesday sat down with Mr Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in a private meeting in Jerusalem, with their respective staff.

During the meeting, which lasted about two-and-a-half hours, Mr Netanyahu told the visiting US official that he would not accept a deal that would include ending the war, US news site Axios reported.

With hopes running high in Israel of a breakthrough in the hostage negotiations, dozens of people rallied outside Mr Blinken’s hotel in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, urging him to get a deal done to free them.

The US Secretary of State came out to the protesters after one of his meetings, telling them Washington “will not rest until everyone – man, woman, soldier, civilian, young, old – is back home”.

“Hamas needs to say ‘yes’ and needs to get this done,” he told the crowds.

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