6:33 PM ET, February 6, 2024
Blinken arrives in Israel for high-level meetings on hostage release proposal. Here's what you need to know
From CNN staff
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has arrived in Israel ahead of high-level meetings with top officials to discuss a proposal for an ongoing ceasefire in the Gaza conflict in exchange for the release of Hamas hostages from October 7.
Provided by Hamas “Positive” answer to the proposal, according to a brief statement on Tuesday, but provided few details.
US President Joe Biden described the Hamas response “a little higher” No further details were provided when contacted for comment. “We don't know where it is. Negotiations are ongoing,” he said.
The Structure of the proposal It calls for the first phase of civilian hostage releases to be held in a six-week moratorium, with three Palestinian prisoners held by Israel freed for every civilian hostage returned from Gaza.
That rate is expected to increase for Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and a longer pause beyond six weeks is possible for the next phases.
Here are other headlines you should know:
- More about the hostage program: A counteroffer from Hamas For hostages and a cease-fire structure “reasonable” A source familiar with the discussions told CNN. It did not include its two main and most public demands, that Israeli soldiers leave Gaza or end the war.
- Position of Saudi Arabia: Blinken said that before arriving in Israel, Saudi Arabia still had a “strong interest” in normalizing relations with Israel, but that the war in Gaza must end and that “there must be a clear, credible, time”. A Bounded Path to the Establishment of a Palestinian State.”
- Senate Boundary Bill: US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that opponents of Senate Boundary Bill They “deny aid” to the “genuinely distressed” Palestinian people. The The bill covers security assistance Humanitarian assistance to civilians in Israel and Gaza and the West Bank.
- Meanwhile in Gaza: A fight broke out between them Between Israel and Hamas in several parts of the Gaza Strip, Khan Younis and “targeted attacks in northern and central Gaza”. The Israel Defense Forces said. Journalists working for CNN in Gaza reported that Israeli fire, including shelling of an apartment building, has caused several casualties across the territory since Monday.