Antony Blinken and Benny Gantz
Antony Blinken and Benny GantzDavid Azagury, U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday morning held meetings with MK Yair Lapid, MK Benny Gantz, and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

The meetings which were held separately, took place in Tel Aviv.

Following his meeting with Blinken, Gantz said that during the meeting, he "emphasized the importance, especially during this time, of placing maximum pressure on the mediators in order to bring Hamas to agree to the hostage deal proposed by Israel."

"I added that I will support any responsible agreement which will bring about the return of the hostages - even from outside the government."

Gantz stressed, "I noted to the Secretary that the US, together with the entire international community, has a key role in removing the threat that Hezbollah presents to the northern border, and emphasized that if the world does not succeed in doing this, the State of Israel will not hesitate to act with determination in order to protect the residents of the north and allow them to return safely to their homes."