Middle East conflict live updates: Blinken in Israel for last day of meetings; Netanyahu rebuffs Hamas demands

Secretary of State Antony Blinken left Tel Aviv Thursday after holding talks with Israeli officials, ending his Middle East tour that sought to broker the release of hostages in exchange for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza. Blinken said Wednesday that Hamas’s response to a deal proposal included some “non-starters” but created space to “pursue negotiations.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the militant group’s demands “delusional” and pledged to continue fighting until “complete victory.”

Netanyahu also convened a meeting of his war cabinet on Thursday, to be followed by a meeting of his security cabinet, he said on X.

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