U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken signaled Monday the U.S. still was not joining calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers as fighting entered its second week, with more than 200 people dead, most of them Palestinians in Gaza.
Blinken’s stand comes despite growing pressure from the United States’ U.N. Security Council partners, some Democrats and others for President Joe Biden’s administration and other international leaders to wade more deeply into diplomacy to end the worst Israel-Palestinian violence in years and revive long-collapsed mediation for a lasting peace there.
Speaking in Copenhagen, where Blinken is making an unrelated tour of Nordic countries this week, Blinken ticked off U.S. outreach so far to try to de-escalate hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel, and said he would be making more calls Monday.
“In all of these engagements we have made clear that we are prepared to lend our support and good offices to the parties should they seek a cease-fire,” Blinken said.
He said he welcomed efforts by the U.N. — where the United States has so far blocked a proposed Security Council statement on the fighting — and other nations working for a cease-fire.
“Any diplomatic initiative that advances that prospect is something that we’ll support,” he said. “And we are again willing and ready to do that. But ultimately it is up to the parties to make clear that they want to pursue a cease-fire.”
As battles between…