Blinken vows to repair relations with Palestinians

Blinken vows to repair relations with Palestinians
Antony Blinken (left) held discussions with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The United States has promised to repair relations with the Palestinians by reopening a consulate in Jerusalem and help rebuild the conflict-torn Gaza Strip.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s promise came after meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank.

He also met Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, pledging “America’s ironclad commitment to Israeli security”.

More than 250 people were killed in 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel earlier this month.

The vast majority of the victims were in Gaza, including many children and women.

The violence came after weeks of increasing Israeli-Palestinian tension in occupied East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

The fighting ended last Friday with a truce brokered by Egypt.

In a tweet, Mr Blinken said he discussed “deepening America’s partnership with the Palestinians” during his Tuesday’s talks with Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah.

The top US diplomat promised to advance the process of reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem that had served as its diplomatic channel to the Palestinians.

The consulate was closed by former President Donald Trump in 2019, angering the Palestinians and straining bilateral relations.

Mr Trump put the Palestinians under the authority of his ambassador to Israel when he relocated the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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