US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken out against unilateral steps in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. At a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Blinken reiterated that the US remains committed to the vision of a two-state solution in the region.
By this is meant the creation of an independent Palestinian state to exist peacefully alongside Israel. Palestinian hope is gradually fading, Blinken said. He announced the payment of an additional $50 million in aid from the UN Palestine Relief Agency.
Abbas accused Israel of being responsible for the recent escalation in violence. He spoke of a lack of international support for the Palestinians given the ongoing Israeli occupation.
Conflict recently escalated dangerously again
Blinken had already met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the day before and called on both sides to de-escalate.
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has recently escalated dangerously again. On Friday, seven people were killed in the worst attack by a Palestinian in Israel in 15 years.
The attack came just a day after an Israeli army raid in Jenin that killed a total of ten Palestinians, including several militants. Since the beginning of the year, 35 Palestinians have been killed in confrontations with the army or in their own attacks.
Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The UN Security Council sees the construction of a settlement as a violation of international law.