Antony Blinken arrived in Israel and will meet Benjamin Netanyahu amid a wave of terror attacks
The US Secretary of State will meet with the Prime Minister on Monday and on Tuesday with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas, before whom will reiterate its request for a de-escalation
Secretary of State Blinken arriving in Tel Aviv (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/REUTERS)
US chief of diplomacy Antony Blinken < /b>He arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday for discussions with Israelis and Palestinians, whom he has already urged “not to inflame tensions” after a new spiral of violence.
This visit, the second leg of a lightning tour of the Middle East that began in Egypt, had been planned for some time but took a new turn with the recent bloody escalation of violence in the region.
Blinken making remarks after landing in Tel Aviv (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/REUTERS)
“It is everyone's responsibility to take measures to defuse tensions instead of inflaming them,” the top US diplomat said after landing in Tel Aviv, ahead of his talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
Earlier, in Cairo, Blinken had called “all parties to calm down and defuse tensions ”, during a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri, who spoke out for a “fair solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, more than ever at a standstill.
Egypt is a historic mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first Arab country to sign peace with Israel in 1979, and a neighbor of the Gaza Strip, under an Israeli blockade for more than 15 years, Egypt receives both Israeli heads of government and leaders of the different Palestinian parties.
Blinken during a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri this Monday in Cairo (KHALED DESOUKI/REUTERS)
The Egyptian presidency assured this Monday that Cairo “has made efforts in recent days to try to control the increase in tensions” in the region.
Fears of violence out of control
The situation has escalated sharply in recent days amid a wave of terrorist attacks Palestinians.
Following the recent anti-Israeli attacks, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu announced a package of measures to punish Palestinians. relatives of the perpetrators.
Israeli forces sealed off the family home of a Palestinian who killed seven people on Friday outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied Palestinian part of the Holy City, and plans to destroy the home.
Shooting At Jerusalem Synagogue
This attack occurred the day after an Israeli anti-terrorist operation in Jenin, in the West Bank, in which ten terrorists from the Islamic Jihad group were killed involved in the preparation of attacks.
In response, there were rocket launches from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory followed by a bombardment by the Israeli army against the Palestinian enclave controlled by the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
On Saturday, a Palestinian wounded two Israelis in East Jerusalem, and on Sunday, Israeli security guards killed a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank. And on Monday Israeli forces killed a Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, in the southern West Bank.
Blinken plans to reiterate the Netanyahu Monday and then Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday a call for restraint.
Blinken told the Saudi channel< i> Al Arabiya who wants to “talk with the Israeli government and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority”.
“I want to hear what people who are affected by (the conflict) have to say,” he said.
Whilethe United States and < b>Egypt are important diplomatic players, for experts the Secretary of State's room for maneuver is limited.
Washington condemned the “heinous” attack on East Jerusalem and urged Netanyahu and Abbas to “take urgent steps to de-escalate the tension”, according to the State Department.< /p>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
But privately, US officials make no secret of theirfrustration over the escalating and stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
< p class="paragraph">Though little progress is expected on the de-escalation front, analysts say Washington is trying to re-engage with Netanyahu.
Several officials have been recently in Jerusalem and some experts are talking about a possible visit by Netanyahu to the White House in February.
(With information from AFP)
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