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Blinken to visit Middle East next week to push ceasefire plan as war enters ninth month

Blinken to visit Middle East next week to push ceasefire plan as war enters ninth month
Blinken to visit Middle East next week to push ceasefire plan as war enters ninth month

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AS IT HAPPENED

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit the Middle East next week to push a plan for an Israel-Hamas ceasefire, the State Department announced Friday. Blinken, who will be paying his eighth visit to the region since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, will visit Israel and key US Arab partners Egypt, Jordan and Qatar from Monday through Wednesday, the State Department said. Read our blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.

Food and good stalls are set-up by vendors outside the burnt out ruins of the building (L) housing the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the north
Food and good stalls are set-up by vendors outside the burnt out ruins of the building (L) housing the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip on June 7, 2024. © Omar Al-Qattaa, AFP

This blog is no longer being updated. For more coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, please click here.

Summary:

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit the Middle East next week to push a plan for an Israel-Hamas ceasefire, the State Department announced Friday. 
  • Israeli strikes hammered large parts of the Gaza Strip from the ground, air and sea on Friday, targeting several homes including at least one in a refugee camp, witnesses said. 
  • The US Central Command said on Friday it has re-established the temporary pier in Gaza, which will allow delivery of humanitarian aid to the war-torn enclave.
  • At least 11 Yemeni employees of UN agencies have been detained by Yemen’s Houthi rebels under unclear circumstances, authorities said Friday.
  • Hamas has not yet given its response to the latest proposal for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza to mediators and is still studying it, Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said on Thursday.
  • At least 36,731 Palestinians have been killed and 83,530 wounded in Israel’s war in Gaza, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry. Some 1,170 people were killed in the Hamas-led October 7 attacks and 250 people were taken hostage, with about 120 remaining in Gaza, according to Israeli tallies. Many have been declared dead by Israeli authorities.
  • At least 37 people were killed in an Israeli air strike early Thursday on a UN-run school in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital said.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Israeli strike on the school, where some 6,000 displaced people were sheltering, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
  • Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mohammed Mustafa said in Baghdad that the PA was ready to re-establish “unified” Palestinian leadership after the Gaza war.
  • A senior Hamas official said that US President Joe Biden’s proposed Gaza ceasefire deal was “just words” and the Palestinian militant group had not received any written commitments related to a truce.
  • Spain said it will join South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, its foreign minister announced​.

About casualty figures from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry:

Gaza’s health ministry collects data from the enclave’s hospitals and the Palestinian Red Crescent. For more on the health ministry’s casualty figures, click here.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters) 

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