US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials and other regional leaders on Monday, as the Hamas-Israel truce is being observed for the fourth day in a row.
Blinken will visit Jerusalem, Ramallah, Cairo and Amman by Thursday and will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Announcing the visit, US President Joe Biden said he had asked the US Secretary of State to travel to the Middle East after diplomatic efforts to halt the fiercest conflict between Israel and Hamas in recent years.
“Blinken will talk to Israeli leaders about our firm commitment to Israeli security. “Our administration will continue its efforts to rebuild ties and support the Palestinian people and leadership after years of neglect,” Biden said in a statement issued by the White House.
Blinken will also discuss “international efforts to ensure direct aid reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people, not Hamas, and to reduce the risk of further conflict in the coming months.”
Gaza is run by the militant Islamist organization Hamas. Israel blocked Gaza in 2007, saying it was blocking arms supplies to Hamas.