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Blinken Addresses Cease-fire Maintained by Hamas, Israel  

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas showed no signs of collapsing on Monday, despite some grumblings by Hamas officials in Gaza over Israel’s decision to keep border crossings into the coastal enclave closed to everything but humanitarian supplies. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday said Jerusalem would not allow building materials and other “nonessential items” into the Gaza Strip unless Hamas enters negotiations over the release of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two soldiers held in Gaza for several years. On Sunday evening, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Israelis and Palestinians to enter long-term talks to secure peace and security in the region. Blinken refused to commit to former President Donald Trump’s proposed peace plan, and reiterated Washington’s commitment to beefing up Israel’s military capabilities, despite strong opposition within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party over the recently signed $735 million arms deal between the two allies.