In Jerusalem, Antony Blinken calls for a “return to calm”

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In Jerusalem, Antony Blinken calls for a “return to calm”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) was in Jerusalem on Monday, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday urged Israelis and Palestinians to act urgently to restore calm, amid a new spiral of deadly violence that the international appeals for restraint have so far failed to appease.

The US diplomat's visit, the second leg of a whirlwind Middle Eastern tour that began in Egypt on Sunday, had been planned for a long time, but took a different turn with the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in recent days. .

The dead on the Palestinian and Israeli sides have multiplied: attacks, shootings, air raids and sanctions are constantly responding to each other, which raises fears of a new spiral.

We now urge all parties to take urgent steps for a return to calm and de-escalation, Blinken said in Jerusalem at a press conference alongside Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Mr. Blinken said he wanted to restore a sense of security for both Israelis and Palestinians, which of course is sorely lacking.

Men carry the body of Palestinian Naseem Abu Fuda during his funeral in Hebron, West Bank.

< p class="e-p">He met in the evening with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, then Israeli President Isaac Herzog. On Tuesday, he will notably meet with the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

There goes everyone's responsibility to take action to ease tensions rather than inflame them, to work towards one day people being fearless in their communities, homes and places of worship,” Mr. Blinken said upon his arrival Monday at Tel Aviv airport.

In the wake of anti-Israeli attacks, Binyamin Netanyahu's government, the most right-wing in Israel's history, has announced measures to punish relatives of the attackers .

On tour in the Middle East, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken called on Israelis and Palestinians to act to restore calm in the region after a new outbreak of violence. Reporting by Yasmine Khayat.

Israeli forces on Sunday sealed off the home of the family of a Palestinian man who killed six Israelis and a Ukrainian woman on Friday near a synagogue in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of the Holy City occupied by Israel, with a view to destroying it.

The home of a Palestinian who on Saturday injured two Israelis, a father and son, also in East Jerusalem, was also to be sealed.

Palestinians protest Monday days after an Israeli raid in Jenin that claimed the lives of ten Palestinians.

< p class="e-p">Israeli guards killed a Palestinian in the West Bank on Sunday. On Monday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in Hebron, in the south of this territory, according to the Palestinian authorities. The military said they shot a fleeing driver.

The anti-Israel attacks came after the deadliest Israeli raid in years in the West Bank, with ten Palestinians killed in Jenin, including fighters, followed by rocket fire from Gaza to Israel and Israeli retaliatory strikes.

The head of American diplomacy also addressed the issue of Iran, an enemy of the Jewish state. Just as Iran has long supported terrorists who attack Israelis and others, the [Iranian] regime now supplies drones that Russia uses to kill innocent Ukrainian civilians, he said. he accuses. In exchange, Russia provides sophisticated weapons to Iran, he said.

On Monday, the Palestinian Hamas, the ruling Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip, said the US Secretary of State's visit underscored full support and partnership with the Israeli occupation.

Israeli soldiers talk with family members of Khayri Alqam, the man who allegedly killed seven people in the January 27 attack in East Jerusalem. The Israeli government sealed their house.

Mr. Blinken began his tour in Egypt, a country whose diplomacy and especially the intelligence services are regularly called upon to intervene in the Palestinian question.

The first Arab country to have signed peace with Israel in 1979 and a neighboring state in the Gaza Strip under Israeli blockade for more than 15 years, Egypt receives Israeli heads of government as well as leaders of the various Palestinian parties.

Once again, the Egyptian presidency assured that Egypt had made efforts in recent days to try to control the outbreak of tensions.

While the United States and Egypt, one of the main recipients of American military aid, are important diplomatic players, the fact remains that , for experts, Mr. Blinken's room for maneuver seems limited.

In private, US officials do not hide their frustration with the escalation and the the impasse in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict finds itself. If little progress is expected on the de-escalation front, Washington is mainly trying to reconnect with Mr. Netanyahu, according to analysts.

Officials have recently come and gone in Jerusalem and some experts are talking about a possible arrival of Mr. Netanyahu in the White House as early as February.