Blinken presses Israel and Hamas to agree to ceasefire

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has returned to the Middle East to try to save the latest plan for a ceasefire. He met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday and emphasized the importance of following through on the proposal.

The three-phase plan starts with a ceasefire that would last six weeks. Hamas would release all hostages. Then, Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza, to allow people to rebuild.

Netanyahu has said his forces are committed to "total victory," and he is committed to "eliminating Hamas."

Blinken told Netanyahu the proposal would "unlock" the possibility of calm for Israelis and "further integration" with the region.

Blinken has been urging people throughout the region to press the leaders of Hamas. He said "virtually the entire world" is in support of the proposal, but the only party that has not said "yes" is Hamas.

On Saturday, Hamas leaders saw Israeli soldiers rescue four hostages and kill more than 270 Palestinians. They released a statement saying they cannot agree to any ceasefire unless those troops withdraw and end their siege.