Blinken Arrives in Egypt as Violence Escalates in Jerusalem, West Bank

Antony J. Blinken (Video Grab, via US Department of State)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Sunday in Egypt at the start of a Middle East trip on which he will look to notch down Israeli-Palestinian tensions after an escalation of violence, The New Arab reported.

Blinken, who will travel Monday and Tuesday to Jerusalem and Ramallah after his stop in Cairo, had long planned the visit to see Israel’s new right-wing government, but the trip takes on a new urgency after some of the worst violence in years.

A Palestinian gunman on Friday killed seven people in an illegal Jewish settlement in occupied east Jerusalem, and another attack followed on Saturday.

The incidents came in retaliation to an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, where nine Palestinians were killed.

Israel also launched airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Blinken will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and call “broadly for steps to be taken to de-escalate tensions,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

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