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Arab leaders push for an Israel-Hamas cease-fire now. Blinken says that could be counterproductive

AP Diplomatic Writer

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Arab leaders who met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jordan are pushing for an immediate cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Blinken warns that would be counterproductive and could encourage more violence by the militant group. The officials held talks Saturday in Amman. Later, Blinken appeared at a new conference with his counterparts from Jordan and Egypt to discuss what he said was their shared desire to protect civilians in Gaza and improve aid flows to the besieged territory. The Arab ministers repeatedly called for the fighting to stop now and condemned Israel’s war tactics. Blinken said the U.S. backs Israel’s right to defend itself and supports “humanitarian pauses” in war operations to allow for aid flows.

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