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Blinken criticises settlements but stresses US support for Israel | Israel-Palestine conflict News

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Secretary of State Antony Brinken, in a rare — albeit implicit — criticism of Israel, said Israeli policies, including settlement expansion and house demolition, were detrimental to a two-state solution.

Still, in a press conference at the end of his trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Tuesday, Blinken reiterated Washington’s “ironproof” commitment to Israel.

“The United States is committed to working toward the enduring goal of ensuring that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal rights, security, opportunity, justice, and dignity,” said Blinken. He stressed the need to maintain a national “vision”. Solved.

“The United States will not allow anything to thwart its goals, including, but not limited to, expansion of settlements, legalization of illegal outposts, moves to annex the West Bank, and disruption of the historical status quo of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. Demolition and eviction, incitement and acquiescence to violence.”

Rights advocates have long urged Washington to pressure Israel to end its human rights abuses against Palestinians.

The United States provides at least $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel each year, while working to block international efforts, including the United Nations, to condemn Israel for its violations.

While successive U.S. administrations, including President Joe Biden, have maintained their unconditional support for Israel, they have rhetorically favored a two-state solution.

“I reaffirmed to Israel and its people the ironclad commitment of the United States to Israel’s security. rice field.

Brinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in occupied Ramallah earlier in the day.

Last week, Israeli forces killed 10 Palestinians in the West Bank, including nine in the Jenin refugee camp. The next day, in occupied East Jerusalem, a Palestinian gunman shot dead his seven Israelis.

Abbas’ office issued a statement through the Palestinian news agency WAFA, blaming Israel for the recent crisis and accusing Israel of stifling a two-state solution and violating international law.

“This will happen when Israel continues its unilateral operations without any deterrence or accountability, including settlements, de facto annexation and settler terrorism,” the Palestinian President said.

Abbas also accused Israel of “violating the historical status quo and violating the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” [Palestinian] Along with the money, policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid. “

Tensions between Israel and Palestine erupted earlier this month, when Itamar Ben Gubir, an ultranationalist minister in the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was accused of being a “provocation” by Palestinian and Arab leaders. – spiked after visiting the Aqsa Mosque complex.

On Tuesday, Abbas implicitly denounced US opposition to Palestinian diplomatic pressure for accountability for Israeli abuses.

“Continued opposition to efforts by the Palestinian people to defend their existence and legitimate rights in international forums and courts, and to provide international protection for the Palestinian people, has led to more Israeli occupation. It is a policy that encourages people to commit crimes and violate international law,” Abbas said.

Brinken said at a press conference that the immediate priority for the US government is to “regain its composure” and de-escalate tensions between Israel and Palestine before moving forward towards a long-term solution. Stated.

Brinken added that he has asked members of his team to remain in the area to support that cause.

Earlier in the day, he said the US was working to reopen a consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem — an unfulfilled Biden campaign promise amid Israeli opposition. Before Donald Trump The president has closed the US diplomatic mission for the Palestinian people as he has all but cut ties with the Palestinian leadership.

On Tuesday, Blinken said Washington was seeking to “restructure” relations with Palestinians and the Palestinian authorities.

In a public statement while in Israel, the top US diplomat did not mention Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akure, a US citizen who was shot dead by Israeli forces last year.

Asked whether Blinken had raised the killing of Abu Akure to Israeli officials, a US State Department spokesman referred Al Jazeera to “public materials” from the meeting of the top diplomats. There was no mention of the murdered journalist.

Brinken said Tuesday that Tehran has scaled back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions on its economy. He said he had spoken with Israeli officials to deepen cooperation.

“We have continued our ongoing discussions on how we can work together and continue to work together, not just with ourselves, but with other countries to counter the malicious actions in which Iran is involved. Whether it’s in the region or beyond,” Brinken told reporters.

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