Blinken in Israel seeks cease-fire and hostage deal to stave off Rafah move

JERUSALEM — Secretary of State Antony Blinken, visiting Israel on Wednesday at a moment described by U.S. officials as the last chance to head off a new surge of fighting, urged Hamas to accept a cease-fire proposal and pushed the Israelis to do more for Gaza’s civilians.

Hanging over the visit are questions about whether the Biden administration can persuade the Israeli government to support an eventual Palestinian state so as to clinch a sweeping agreement that U.S. officials envision stabilizing the Middle East.

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