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Blinken urges Middle East nations to address and control the Gaza conflict

Wednesday 10 January 2024
Blinken urges Middle East nations to address and control the Gaza conflict

The Secretary of State of the United States spoke in Turkey as part of a journey that will lead him to visit Jordan, Egypt, and Israel.

Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, has called on Middle East nations to leverage their influence with regional actors to contain the Gaza conflict and prevent the continuation of an "endless cycle of violence." This plea comes as part of his ongoing week-long diplomatic journey aimed at easing tensions in the region.

On Saturday, Blinken addressed the situation after Lebanon's Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for launching rockets at Israel. Hezbollah described these attacks as a "preliminary response" to the recent killing of a senior Hamas leader in Beirut, an incident widely attributed to Israel.

"We aim to ensure that nations leverage their diplomatic ties with various involved parties to maintain stability and prevent the escalation of conflict," stated Blinken before departing for Jordan, following meetings with the leaders of Turkey and Greece.

Blinken, who is set to visit Arab states, Israel, and the occupied West Bank, expressed his intent to explore measures that can enhance the protection of civilians in Gaza and boost the delivery of humanitarian aid.

He remarked, "A concerning number of Palestinians, particularly children, have lost their lives."

The conflict commenced after the Al-Aqsa Storm. In response, Israel conducted terrorist attacks, leading to the death of 22,700 Palestinians, mostly children and women, as reported by Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry.

On Saturday, intense fighting took place in and around the southern city of Khan Younis. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported substantial shelling in close proximity to Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis.

In another location, the Palestinian health ministry reported that six individuals were killed in the West Bank city of Jenin during an Israeli airstrike early on Sunday. The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, highlighted a significant deployment of Israeli forces in Jenin.

In response to pressure from the United States, certain Israeli forces have been withdrawn from Gaza in recent times.

During his ongoing journey, Blinken is anticipated to exert pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The focus will be on urging more significant efforts to safeguard civilians in Gaza, facilitate increased aid access to the region, and restrain outspoken far-right ministers advocating for the mass resettlement of Palestinians. The United States has criticized such rhetoric as provocative and irresponsible.

On Saturday, Blinken mentioned that Turkey is committed to playing "a positive, productive" role in postwar Gaza. Additionally, Turkey is prepared to utilize its influence in the region to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from further escalation.

These remarks followed his discussions with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been a vocal critic of Israel's military operations in Gaza.

According to a Turkish diplomatic source, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan urged Blinken in a separate meeting for an "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza to facilitate the uninterrupted delivery of aid.

Erdoğan has become one of the most vocal critics in the Muslim world concerning Washington's support for Israel's Gaza campaign. Drawing comparisons, he equated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler and accused the US of supporting the "genocide" of Palestinians.

He has also resisted US pressure to halt the suspected flow of funding to Hamas through Turkey, portraying the group as legitimately elected "liberators" engaged in a fight for their land.

Tags :

United States Turkey Egypt Jordan Israel Zinoist Regime Palestine Gaza Hamas Middle East Blinken Erdogan

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