During talks with senior Israeli officials, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, announced that the United States would contribute and mobilize international support to expand economic opportunities for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The initiative comes to move away from the ceasefire between Israel and the various Palestinian factions.
Blinken arrival in Israel is the start of his first tour as Minister of Foreign Affairs to the region, which included meetings with senior officials before moving to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He will later head to Cairo to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Amman to meet with King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein.
He noticed that the victims “are often reduced to numbers, but behind every number, there is a human being: daughter, son, father, mother, grandfather, best friend.”
While in Israel, he said: “The loss of one person is the loss of the entire world, whether that life was Palestinian or Israeli,” referencing Talmudic teachings.
The secretary went on: “The United States firmly supports Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks like the thousands of rockets fired indiscriminately against Israeli civilians by Hamas (…). We believe that both Palestinians and Israelis ought to live in peace and security, with equal access to freedom, opportunity, and democracy, and to be treated with dignity.”
“We are determined to assist as effectively as we can deal with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza (…), re-engaging with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people,” he finalized.
Blinken left for Ramallah on Tuesday evening.