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Blinken in Israel to Urge End to ‘Rising Tide of Violence’ with Palestinians

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avatar by i24 News

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyanin, speaks at a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 13, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

i24 News – ‘It’s the responsibility of everyone to take steps to calm tensions rather than inflame them,’ says U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel on Monday to urge a de-escalation in deadly violence that continues to fester in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel is reeling from a terror attack last week that killed seven civilians outside an ultra-Orthodox synagogue in east Jerusalem, a day after an Israeli raid in the West Bank claimed the lives of 10 Palestinian terrorists.

Blinken arrived in Israel on the second leg of his Middle East tour, after meeting Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the north African country’s foreign minister in Cairo.

On arrival in Tel Aviv, Washington’s top diplomat condemned those who celebrated the east Jerusalem violence and “any other acts of terrorism that take innocent lives.”

Celebrations were seen across multiple Palestinian towns after the Friday attack, while extremist groups in Gaza called it a “heroic” act.

“It’s the responsibility of everyone to take steps to calm tensions rather than inflame them,” he said. “That is the only way to halt the rising tide of violence that has taken too many lives – too many Israelis, too many Palestinians.”

Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 35 Palestinians – including attackers and civilians. Over the same period, six Israeli civilians, including a child, and one Ukrainian civilian have been killed – all shot dead in the Friday attack.

The United States has historically taken a lead in Middle East diplomacy.

Blinken was due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before traveling to Ramallah in the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

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