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U.N. envoy resumes push for cease fire in Gaza

Tor Wennesland, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process , has been holding extensive talks with both Israel and Hamas over the past 24 hours in an effort to restore peace, a diplomatic source tells Axios.

Driving the news: The source said Wennesland spoke on Sunday to Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and other senior Israeli security officials as well as Hamas officials and Egyptian intelligence officials.

What they are saying: “The talks the U.N. envoy is having with all parties are in an attempt to restore calm in Gaza and Israel, and avoid another devastating full-scale war," the diplomatic source said.

  • An Israeli official didn't deny the call between the U.N. envoy and Israel national security adviser took place but claimed: "There are no cease fire talks. The operation in Gaza continues."
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter what seems to be a toughening of the U.S. position: "All parties need to deescalate tensions – the violence must end immediately"

Blinken spoke both the with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani about the violence.

Between the lines: Both countries have pushed for calm in the region.

  • Blinken also spoke to the Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan and discussed the ongoing efforts to bring the current violence to an end.

Go deeper: Israel to continue Gaza operation, officials rule out cease-fire for now

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