Hostage deal: “Response to Egyptian proposal to come by Thursday” (Hamas) | Live

Anthony Blinken visits Kerem Shalom crossing Gaza with Yoav Gallant

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday at the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip, announcing that Israel is “committed to the return of the hostages and ready to undertake any mission in the Rafah area”. Gallant and Blinken also visited the border community of Kibbutz Nir Oz, which was hit during an October 7 attack by Hamas, according to the Defense Department. According to the ministry, Israeli security officials briefed Blinken and his team on the Israeli military's humanitarian efforts in Gaza and measures taken to prevent misguided attacks on aid workers following the incident in which seven members of the World Central Kitchen team were killed.

Antony Blinken, third from left, stands between Defense Minister Yoav Galand and Sigrid Gaq, the UN's senior humanitarian and reconstruction coordinator for Gaza, at the Kerem Shalom border crossing on May 1, 2024.(Evelyn Hochstein/Pool Photo via AP

Mr. Gallant and the US secretary of state later visited the Kerem Shalom crossing and observed inspection procedures, the secretary of state's office said. At a subsequent meeting, attended by IDF Chief of Staff General Herzi Halevi, Defense Ministry Director General Eyal Zamir, Galant and Blinken, they discussed “efforts to return the hostages and the need to continue military operations aimed at eliminating Hamas.” Ministry. “We are committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure the return of our hostages, which is ethically and morally right, and is a declared war objective,” Gallant said in a statement. “At the same time, the IDF is ready to undertake any operational mission in the Rafah region, subject to the instructions given by me,” he added.

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