LIVE UPDATES: Antony Blinken arrives in Israel, begins Middle East mission to bolster Gaza cease-fire


    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security during a highly anticipated joint statement Tuesday alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Blinken was there to, in part, bolster the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas militants. After meeting with Netanyahu, the top U.S. diplomat is expected to tour Ramallah, Cairo, and Amman. He also plans to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. 


      • The 11-day Gaza war killed more than 250 people, mostly Palestinians
      • The truce that came into effect last Friday has so far held

    He is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the region since President Biden assumed office. Biden said in a statement that Blinken will “continue our administration’s efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and their leaders, after years of neglect.”

    Blinken posted on Twitter prior to the high-profile visit that besides the ceasefire, “we were also focused on the road ahead, including steps we could take to build a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.”

    He will not be meeting with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, reports said. 

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