EThis will be the third visit by the head of American diplomacy to the Middle East since the start of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, on October 7.
“During his meetings in the Middle East, [Blinken] will emphasize the need to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza, secure the release of all hostages and improve the protection of civilians in Gaza,” said a US State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Blinken will also once again defend the creation of an independent Palestinian state as the only long-term solution and will discuss efforts to “contain the conflict”, according to the same source cited by the agency France-Presse (AFP).
The US Secretary of State, who began a trip to Europe today, is expected to travel to Tel Aviv to meet with Israeli authorities, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and then to Ramallah to meet with the president of the Palestinian Authority , Mahmoud Abbas, according to the official.
Although no specific date has been announced, Blinken’s trip to Israel is expected to take place on Thursday, after having participated on Tuesday and Wednesday in a NATO meeting in Brussels and on Wednesday in a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Skopje, capital of Macedonia.
Shortly after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, Blinken took a marathon tour of the region, traveling several times between Israel and Jordan, in particular, and visiting several other Arab countries.
He made another trip to the region at the beginning of the month, going to Ramallah for the first time since the start of the conflict.
On Friday, he will travel to Dubai to continue discussions with the aim of avoiding any escalation of the conflict, the State Department source also stressed.
Several government officials from around the world will be present in that emirate, where they will participate in the UN climate summit (COP28), which takes place between November 30th and December 12th.
Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7, following an attack by the Islamic group, which included the launch of more than 4,000 rockets and the infiltration of nearly 3,000 militants, who killed around 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 240 from communities Israelis near the Gaza Strip.
Since then, Israel’s air, naval and land forces have counterattacked in the Palestinian enclave, where more than 15,000 people have died, according to authorities in the Gaza Strip, controlled since 2007 by Hamas, most of them children and women, and It is estimated that more than seven thousand people are missing under the rubble.
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