US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to the Middle East “in the coming days,” the State Department said on Thursday after the Israeli government has decided to cease its military operations. This halted 12 days of constant Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.
Blinken spoke with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi, who “welcomed Secretary Blinken’s planned travel to the region,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
I will be traveling to the region in the coming days and look forward to meeting the Foreign Minister and other Israeli, Palestinian, and regional leaders.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 21, 2021
The top US diplomat “will meet with Israeli, Palestinian and regional counterparts in the coming days to discuss recovery efforts and working together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians,” Price said.
The announcement came after Blinken spoke twice Thursday with Ashkenazi ahead of the implementation of the ceasefire, which was brokered by Egypt and followed mounting international pressure to stem the bloodshed.
Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed 243 Palestinians, including 66 children, and have wounded another 1,910, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)