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Report: Israel refused ceasefire

The Russian TASS news agency on Friday morning reported that Israel had refused a ceasefire with Hamas, and the Egyptian delegation had therefore returned to Cairo.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for a ceasefire between the Hamas terror group and Israel, tweeting in Hebrew that “the vortex of violence in the Middle East must cease. I strongly call for a ceasefire and dialogue. I call for calm and peace.”

On Sunday, the United Nations Security Council will hold an open meeting to discuss the fighting in Gaza, with the intention of increasing pressure on Israel to cease retaliation for rocket fire on its citizens. The meeting has been scheduled at the request of China, Norway, and Tunisia.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday night at a press conference that until the Sunday meeting, diplomatic efforts can be continued in order to see if it is possible to end the escalation and return calm.

Also on Thursday, Blinken said:

“We’ve been very clear that rocket attacks must cease. We’ve been very clear about Israel’s right to defend itself. We’re also engaging our regional partners with urgency to see to it that calm prevails, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the loved ones of those lost.”

Source: Arutz Sheva