July 25, 2021

Visiting Tel Aviv, US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken will try to stabilize the truce

Five days after the start of the ceasefire that ended ten days of clashes between Israel and the Palestinian armed group Hamas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken began on Tuesday, May 25, in Israel a tour in the Middle East in the hope of consolidating the truce.

The plane of the US foreign minister touched down at 7.45 a.m. local time (6.45 a.m. KST) at Tel Aviv International Airport, a prelude to talks later that day in Jerusalem with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and in Ramallah, in the West Bank, with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who does not however control the Gaza Strip, territory ruled by the Islamists of Hamas. He will then go to Egypt and Jordan, the State Department said.

“The United States has engaged in active diplomacy to end hostilities and reduce tensions”, said Antony Blinken on Twitter. “Secretary of State Blinken (…) will continue our government’s efforts to reconnect with the Palestinians and their leaders, as well as express our support for them, after years of neglect ”, for his part, said the President of the United States, Joe Biden, in a separate statement.

In the wake of the ceasefire that entered into force on Friday between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, after ten days of bombardment and rocket fire, Joe Biden and Antony Blinken reaffirmed their support for “Two-state solution”, Israeli and Palestinian.

But their press releases confirming the Secretary of State’s trip do not refer to it among the subjects he must address in the region. “Our priority is really above all to ensure that the ceasefire holds”, a senior US official told reporters before the Secretary of State left, judging “Premature” all aimed more ambitious.

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Knife attack on the fourth day of the ceasefire

Separately, two people, including an Israeli soldier, were stabbed on Monday near a light rail station on the edge of the occupied Palestinian area of ​​East Jerusalem by an assailant who was shot dead, he said. ‘Agence France-Presse Micky Rosenfeld, spokesman for the police, without giving, at this stage, more details on his identity.

This attack comes after the ceasefire negotiated by Egypt between Israel and Hamas. The first tensions, which in part led to the escalation of deadly violence between Hamas and the Israeli army in Gaza, had started at the end of April from the nearby neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families are threatened with death. ‘expulsion.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters