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US backs two-state solution again in appeal to Palestinian leader

US Secretary of State reaffirms US commitment to a two-state solution on call with President Mahmoud Abbas.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said on Saturday. a statement.

The top US diplomat discussed joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom in a call with Abbas on Friday, according to the statement.

Blinken “underscored his deep concern about the situation in Judea and Samaria, including rising tensions, violence and loss of life for both Palestinians and Israelis, and emphasized the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation,” according to the State Department. Condition.

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It also “further reaffirmed our commitment to a two-state solution,” which envisions an independent state of Palestine alongside Israel.

The statement came against the background of escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinian president briefed the US secretary of state on Israeli attacks on Palestinians, the Israeli blockade of Palestinian cities and towns, and settler violence, the Wafa news agency reported.

Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday, as Israel counted the final votes in national elections this week.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a comfortable majority backed by far-right allies, including Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Otzma Yehudit party, who has called for Palestinians “disloyal” to Israel to be expelled.

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On Friday, tensions flared again in the blockaded Gaza Strip when Israeli warplanes attacked what they called a “rocket manufacturing site” in response to several rockets fired at Israel, the first launched since Israel’s deadly military offensive. Israel three days under siege. enclave in August.

No Palestinian faction claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.

Hazem Qasem, a Hamas spokesman, said that “Israeli’s barbaric shelling of the Gaza Strip at dawn today is a blatant act of aggression and represents an extension of its open war against our people everywhere we exist.”

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in almost daily Israeli incursions into the occupied territories since the beginning of the year.

Israel has stepped up incursions in the wake of a series of deadly Palestinian attacks in Israel in March.

The Biden administration has sought to reestablish a credible US engagement with the Palestinians after former US President Donald Trump’s administration cut off aid, downgraded the status of its main diplomatic mission in Palestine and escalated tensions by moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition of the latter as Israel’s capital.

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Israel wants undivided Jerusalem as its capital. In fact, he has de facto control over the city after annexing East Jerusalem, a move not recognized by the international community.

Palestinians see Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The status of Jerusalem remains one of the main sticking points in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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During his confirmation hearing in January 2021, Blinken also reiterated his support for a two-state solution, but added: “Realistically, it’s hard to see short-term prospects for moving that forward.”

“What would be important is to make sure that neither side takes steps that would make the already difficult process even more challenging,” he said.

The Israeli government has gone ahead with the construction of new settlements that are illegal under international law and endanger Palestinian hopes for an independent state.

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