Blinken visits West Bank to meet Palestinian leader Abbas as Gaza war rages

TEL AVIV : US high diplomat Antony Blinken made an unannounced go to to the occupied West Bank on Sunday and met with the Palestinian Authority president as he continues a tour of the area amid spiraling tensions over Israel‘s conflict with Hamas.
Blinken and Mahmoud Abbasmet within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, on his second go to to the area since Palestinian Hamas fighters launched a shock assault on southern Israel on Oct.7, killing 1,400 folks and taking greater than 240 others hostage.
As Israel continued a marketing campaign of air strikes that Gaza well being officers say has killed almost 9,500 Palestinians, Secretary of State Blinken rebuffed requires a ceasefire from Arab officers on Saturday after interesting, unsuccessfully, to Israel for extra restricted pauses to the combating a day earlier.
In addition to searching for to make sure the battle doesn’t unfold within the area, Blinken is making an attempt to kickstart discussions on how Gaza might be ruled after the whole destruction of Hamas that Israel says is its goal.
Blinken has urged an “efficient and revitalized Palestinian Authority” would take advantage of sense to in the end run the strip however admitted that different international locations and worldwide businesses would probably play a job in safety and governance within the interim.
Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, which workouts restricted self-rule within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, has seen its recognition shrivel amid allegations of graft, incompetence and extensively hated safety cooperation preparations with Israel. It’s unclear who will succeed the getting older and ailing Abbas, 87, a staunch opponent of Hamas.
The international ministers of Egypt and Jordan stated on Saturday after assembly with Blinken that it was untimely to speak about the way forward for Gaza, as they referred to as for an instantaneous ceasefire to handle the humanitarian disaster that has engulfed the strip’s 2.3 million residents.
Blinken argued {that a} ceasefire would solely enable Hamas to regroup, however is making an attempt to persuade Israel to conform to location-specific pauses that might enable a lot wanted help to be distributed inside Gaza.
The assembly was Blinken’s second with Abbas for the reason that battle started, however the first to happen within the West Financial institution. It was not introduced forward of time and Reuters agreed to not publish particulars of the journey till it was full because of safety considerations.
Violence within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, already at a greater than 15-year excessive this yr, has surged additional for the reason that conflict started, with greater than 170 assaults on Palestinians involving Jewish settlers recorded by the United Nations.
“This has been a major problem that is solely worsened for the reason that battle,” Blinken instructed reporters on Saturday in Amman, including that he instructed Israeli officers the day earlier than that the perpetrators of such violence a lot be held accountable.
(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson)

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