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US’ Blinken to visit Israel, occupied West Bank to discuss post-conflict Gaza 

November 28, 2023 at 3:19 pm

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ankara, Turkiye on November 06, 2023 [Arda Küçükkaya/Anadolu Agency]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to make his third visit to Israel and the West Bank this week, coinciding with the announcement of a truce extension in Gaza by mediators.

In Israel and the occupied West Bank, Blinken will “discuss Israel’s right to defend itself consistent with international humanitarian law, as well as continued efforts to secure the release of remaining hostages, protect civilian life during Israel’s operations in Gaza, and accelerate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, said in a statement.

Moreover, Blinken is set to address post-conflict Gaza principles and advocate for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, along with efforts to prevent the war from escalating.

During his visit to the occupied West Bank, he plans to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, emphasising the significant role the Palestinian Authority should play in governing post-conflict Gaza.

READ: Antony Blinken arrives in Turkiye for Gaza talks

Following meetings in Israel and the occupied West Bank, Blinken is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates for discussions with regional leaders attending the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, reported Reuters.

It comes after the top US diplomat made a surprise visit earlier this month to the West Bank as part of his Middle East tour, during which Blinken reiterated the US’s commitment to the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Israel launched a genocidal bombing campaign against Gaza on 7 October, forcibly displacing more than 1.9 million Palestinians and injuring more than 30,000. A four-day temporary truce has been extended for two days and has seen the release of 50 Israeli prisoners of war from Gaza and 150 Palestinians children and women held in military detention by Israeli occupation forces.