Blinken arrives in Israel to try to bolster Gaza ceasefire

Antony Blinken
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he departs Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on May 24, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken began a Middle East visit in Israel on Tuesday, seeking to bolster its ceasefire with Gaza's ruling group Hamas and help speed humanitarian aid to the devastated Palestinian enclave.اضافة اعلان

In tandem with Blinken's mission, Israeli authorities said they were allowing fuel, medicine and food earmarked for Gaza's private sector to enter the territory for the first time since 11 days of cross-border hostilities started on May 10.

Blinken was also due to visit Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Cairo and Amman, with the United States harboring "every hope and expectation" the ceasefire would continue to hold, a senior State Department official said.

"Our primary focus is on maintaining the ceasefire, getting the assistance to the people who need it," said the official, who spoke on Monday on the condition of anonymity. Egypt brokered the truce, in coordination with the United States.

Blinken, due to remain in the region through Thursday, planned to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah later on Tuesday.

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