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Abbas meets US’s Blinken in Ramallah, rejects displacement of Palestinians

January 10, 2024 at 5:05 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet in Ramallah, West Bank on January 10, 2024. [Palestinian Presidency – Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, rejected any attempts to displace Palestinians during his meeting with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in the West Bank on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Blinken arrived in Ramallah on Wednesday as part of a regional tour that started with Turkiye for talks on the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

“We will not allow the displacement of any Palestinian whether in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank,” Abbas said during the meeting as cited by the state news agency, Wafa.

The Palestinian leader warned against Israeli measures for displacing the Palestinians from their lands.

“The Gaza Strip is an integral part of the Palestinian State,” he stressed.

According to a statement by State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, Blinken and Abbas discussed “ongoing efforts to minimise civilian harm in Gaza and accelerate and increase the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians throughout Gaza.”

READ: Israel’s Ben-Gvir to Blinken: Time to use the big stick against Hamas

Blinken welcomed the appointment of Sigrid Kaag as the UN’s Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, said Miller.

The Secretary also noted “increased volatility“in the West Bank while discussing US efforts to address “extremist violence”, according to the readout.

“He also underscored the United States’ position that all Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel should be consistently conveyed to the Palestinian Authority in accordance with prior agreements,” he added.

Miller said Blinken and Abbas also discussed “administrative reforms” during a “productive discussion”.

“The Secretary reaffirmed that the United States supports tangible steps towards the creation of a Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel, with both living in peace and security,” he added.

Several Israeli officials have called for the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip amid a deadly Israeli offensive on the seaside enclave.

Abbas is scheduled to fly to Jordan later Wednesday to attend a 3-way Arab summit with the leaders of Jordan and Egypt.

READ: Blinken carries Arab message to Israel: keep hope of Palestinian state alive

Washington has so far refrained from calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and has provided Tel Aviv with military, intelligence and diplomatic support.

Israel has pounded the Palestinian enclave since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas, on 7 October,  killing at least 23,357 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 59,410 others, according to local health authorities.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas offensive.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

About 85 per cent of Gazans have been displaced, while all of them are food insecure, according to the UN. Hundreds of thousands of people are living without shelter and ⁠less than half of aid trucks are entering the Territory than before the start of the conflict.

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