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US rejects Middle East ceasefire calls, says would benefit Hamas

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Israel battles Hamas in South Gaza city

The United States warned Monday that any Gaza ceasefire by Israel would benefit Hamas, as the European Union considers a call for a humanitarian pause.

A ceasefire would “give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit and to get ready to continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

“You can understand perfectly clearly why that’s an intolerable situation for Israel, as it would be an intolerable situation for any country that has suffered such a brutal terrorist attack and continues to see the terrorist threat right on its border,” he said.

Miller said that the United States was separately working to ensure a flow of humanitarian relief into Gaza, with a US envoy, David Satterfield, on the ground working “intensively” on aid.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said earlier Monday that he expected the bloc’s leaders to back a call for a pause in fighting to let in aid.

“I believe that the idea of a humanitarian pause to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian aid, which would allow displaced persons to find shelter, is something that the leaders will support,” Borrell said after talks with EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

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AFP

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