Jacquelyn Martin Agence France-Presse Quatre Days after visiting Tel Aviv in a show of solidarity following Hamas's bloody attack on Israel on October 7, Mr. Blinken landed in the city again on Monday and flew straight to Jerusalem for talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel on Monday after a tour of six Arab countries aimed at coordinating efforts against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, while seeking solutions to ease the humanitarian crisis in the Strip from Gaza.
Four days after visiting Tel Aviv in a show of solidarity following Hamas's bloody attack on Israel on October 7, Mr. Blinken landed in the city again and flew straight to Jerusalem for talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I want the opportunity to share everything I have heard, what I have learned, over these past few days by visiting our other partners and to discuss the way forward with our allies and friends Israelis,” Blinken told reporters on Sunday in Cairo, as Israel prepares a major ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
This trip comes as US President Joe Biden , would consider responding to an invitation to visit Israel to demonstrate, once again, what the American leader describes as unwavering solidarity.
More than 1,400 people, most of them civilians, died in the attack on an unprecedented scale carried out by Hamas, and around a hundred were taken hostage.
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Israel responded with continued bombardment of the Gaza Strip, killing around 2,750 people, mostly civilians.
According to US officials, Blinken heard broad opposition to Hamas from leaders during his tour, but also concerns about the fate of the Palestinians.
“I said clearly that Hamas cannot, must not, continue to act as if nothing had happened” , insisted Mr. Blinken in Cairo.
“At the same time […] we are determined to do everything in our power to meet the needs of the people of Gaza,” he added, believing that “civilians should not have to suffer from the atrocities” of the Palestinian Islamist movement.
Reoccupying Gaza, a “mistake”
Under pressure from the United States, Israel resumed the supply of water to the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, after announcing it would interrupt all deliveries of food, water and energy to the densely populated territory.
Washington also appointed a coordinator to direct humanitarian aid to Gaza, retired US Ambassador David Satterfield, who is expected in Israel on Monday.
The Biden administration asserted that Israel had the right to respond and stopped short of calling for restraint or a ceasefire. But she also warned against more extreme measures such as a mass expulsion of Palestinians, a prospect feared by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a rival of Hamas based in the occupied West Bank.
During a interview Sunday on CBS News, Biden warned of the dangers of Israel attempting to reoccupy the Gaza Strip.
“I think it would be a mistake,” he said. – he declared.
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but soon after imposed an air, land and sea blockade, which intensified when the territory came under control in 2007. of Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Israel and the United States.
Mr. Blinken held talks in four of the five Arab states with diplomatic relations with Israel, namely Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
He also visited Saudi Arabia , which suspended, due to the war, its discussions on possible normalization with Israel, and in Qatar, another partner of the United States which maintains relations with Hamas.