US secretary of state, Israeli defense minister discuss efforts to reach ceasefire


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss efforts for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages, State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement on Sunday, Paralel.Az reports citing Reuters.

"The secretary and the minister discussed efforts to protect Israel’s security and negotiations to secure the release of hostages, enable an immediate ceasefire, and increase the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The secretary also underscored the importance of measures to de-escalate tensions in the region," the statement said.

Blinken also spoke with Israeli Minister Benny Gantz. The sides discussed additional steps to minimize harm to civilians and efforts to ensure the conflict in Gaza does not spread.