Blinken addresses reports that US wants end to Israel-Hamas war 'in a month'

ITV News US Correspondent Dan Rivers reports on the key lines to emerge from Antony Blinken's press conference

Antony Blinken has refused to be drawn into commenting on reports that the US is pressuring Israel to end its war with Hamas within a month, insisting the country must decide for itself how long to continue the Middle East conflict.

The US secretary of state told Israeli leaders that US President Joe Biden expects an end to the fighting three months after it began on October 7, The Times reported.

On Thursday, Mr Blinken held a joint press conference alongside UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron in Washington DC

Asked by ITV News as to whether there are any circumstances in which the US would accept Israel continuing to wage its war for more than a month, Mr Blinken said: "In our conversations with Israel we talk about how long this campaign will take and also how it is being prosecuted.

"But these are decisions for Israel to make."

Lord Cameron and Antony Blinken held a joint press conference on Thursday. Credit: AP

Leaked remarks from a recent meeting of Israel's war cabinet, which Mr Blinken attended, claimed that the secretary of state told Israel it "can't operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north".

The comments, as reported by The Times of Israel, were an apparent reference to the daily aerial bombardment of northern Gaza by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), which the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says has led to thousands of civilian deaths.

Israeli Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, in response is claimed to have said: "The entire Israeli society is united behind the goal of dismantling Hamas, even if it takes months."

According to the leaked remarks, Mr Blinken rebutted Mr Gallant, saying: "I don't think you have the credit for that."

On Wednesday, the White House's Coordinator for Strategic Communications, National Security Council Admiral John Kirby was asked by ITV News what the long-term strategy is for Gaza, once the fighting between Israel and proscribed terror group Hamas ends.

ITV News asked both the White House's Coordinator for Strategic Communications, National Security Council Admiral John Kirby, and the Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron what happens next

Mr Kirby said there is a need for the Palestinian Authority to be overhauled if it is to play any future role in governing Palestinians in Gaza, saying the US believes that to be a "good step in that direction".

Lord Cameron told ITV News that any plan must "involve all sorts of different elements".

Fighting between Israel and Hamas began after the latter launched an attack into southern Israel on October 7, which killed at least 1,200 people.

Israel's retaliatory airstrikes and invasion of the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, has killed more than 16,000 people, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

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