Blinken meets opposition figures Gantz, Lapid in Tel Aviv

Blinken meets opposition figures Gantz, Lapid in Tel Aviv
# 11 June 2024 11:38 (UTC +04:00)

Visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets separately in Tel Aviv with opposition figures Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, APA reports citing Times of Israel.

In a statement from Gantz’s office, the National Unity party leader says he urged Blinken to apply “maximum pressure” on negotiators to reach a hostage release deal, saying he will “support any responsible arrangement on the matter from outside the government.”

Gantz, who quit the coalition this week, also tells Blinken that if the threat from Hezbollah in the north cannot be removed, “Israel will not hesitate to act forcefully” to protect its citizens.

There was no immediate readout on the meeting between Lapid and Blinken.

Blinken also met with President Isaac Herzog earlier today and yesterday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Protesters linked to the hostage families hold a demonstration outside Blinken’s Tel Aviv hotel demanding the US help reach a deal to free their loved ones.

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