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White House says Hamas ‘need to take’ hostage deal



The U.S. has urged the militant Palestinian organisation Hamas to accept a ceasefire and hostage exchange deal.

“In recent days, there has been new progress in talks and currently, the onus is indeed on Hamas,” spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday at the White House.

“There is a deal on the table and they need to take it,” she added.

“We believe that all efforts need to be brought to bear to convince Hamas to accept the proposal immediately.”

“It is way past time to get these hostages home” Jean-Pierre said further.

“It was way past time to get to a ceasefire, and we need to make sure we continue to get that humanitarian aid, as we know it is a dire situation in Gaza.”

U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Riyadh with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan, as well as Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary General Hussein Al Sheikh.

During their meeting, they discussed the importance of a sustained increase in humanitarian assistance to address the dire situation in Gaza.

Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ support for efforts to achieve lasting peace in the region, including through a pathway to a Palestinian state with security assurances for Israel, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

The top U.S. diplomat emphasised the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas.

Blinken also underscored the importance of regional coordination to prevent the conflict from spreading.

Halima Sheji

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