Blinken to Visit Middle East amid Ongoing Israeli Violence

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. (Photo: US Embassy Nigeria, via Wikimedia Commons)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank from Sunday to Tuesday in his first trip to the Middle East this year, the US State Department announced.

The top US diplomat’s visit was announced just hours after Israeli commandos killed ten Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, stirring fear of further flare-ups after the largest single death toll in years of fighting.

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In meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Blinken will discuss Israeli-Palestinian relations and preserving the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, department spokesperson, Ned Price, said in a statement on Thursday.

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“With both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the Secretary will underscore the urgent need for the parties to take steps to de-escalate tensions in order to put an end to the cycle of violence that has claimed too many innocent lives,” Price said.

Price said Blinken would also discuss the importance of upholding the status quo around the Haram Al-Sharif, where a storming by Israeli far-right Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir recently stirred outrage among Palestinians.


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