Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who also wants peace talks, said the United States would work to help solve the “grave humanitarian situation” in the Gaza Strip, while ensuring that the area did not get help from the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which is ruled by Gaza. Help reinforce the ceasefire.
President Joe Biden announced Blinken’s path, saying that the Secretary of State would work with regional partners “to achieve immediate relief for Gaza through their coordinated international efforts.” Blinken arrived, on Tuesday, on the first leg of his trip to the Middle East, to Jerusalem, where he held a joint press conference with the prime minister after his meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the highest-ranking US official to have traveled to Israel since the Biden presidency.
The foreign minister will not negotiate with representatives of Hamas, but he will travel to Ramallah in the West Bank, where he will meet with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. Then Blinken travels to Jordan and Egypt.
More than 250 people, most of them Palestinians, were killed in the 11 days before Friday’s ceasefire in Israeli air strikes on Gaza and rocket attacks by Hamas. The impoverished area has been devastated by airstrikes, hundreds of homes have been destroyed and infrastructure damaged.
In a weekend interview with CNN, Blinken said the US government is now working to “build something more positive,” saying that Palestinians and Israelis deserve “equal opportunity, security and dignity.” It is believed that the time is not right to resume negotiations immediately, but steps can be taken to repair the damage caused by the Israeli air strikes. (AP)
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