Jerusalem — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to help Washington rebuild Gaza on Tuesday in a Middle East mission as part of an effort to strengthen the ceasefire between Hamas terrorist rulers and Israel.
However, Blinken has revealed that Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist organization, intends to prevent it from benefiting from humanitarian aid.
Blinken began a regional visit in Jerusalem and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli leaders threatened a “very strong response” by speaking to reporters with top US diplomats on their side when Hamas resumed a cross-border rocket attack.
A ceasefire mediated by Egypt and coordinated with the United States began on Friday, 11 days after the worst battle of years between Palestinian terrorists and Israel. It is being held now, which is the 5th day.
“We know that we need to use the space created to address a larger set of underlying problems and challenges to prevent a return to violence,” Blinken said. It was.
“And it begins with tackling the serious humanitarian situation in Gaza and initiating reconstruction.”
He said the United States will seek international support for its efforts and make its own “significant contributions” to be announced later that day.
“We work closely with our partners to prevent Hamas from benefiting from reconstruction assistance,” Blinken said of the group.
Blinken will stay in the area until Thursday and will also travel to Egypt and Jordan. In parallel with his visit, Israeli authorities allowed fuel, medicines, and food assigned to Gaza’s private sector to enter the territory for the first time since hostilities began on May 10.
Blinken, who said he wanted to rebuild relations between the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority, met with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later that day in occupied Ramallah on the west coast. It was planned.
Negotiations between Israel and the authorities collapsed in 2014, and Palestinians, Donald Trump, the predecessor of U.S. President Joe Biden, are pushing ahead with plans to control many of the Israeli settlements built on the west coast. Reduced aid to.
However, Biden said the only answer to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was a two-state solution, but US officials suggested that it was premature for broader peace talks.
Israel has been politically fluid after four uncertain elections in two years, and Palestinians are divided by hostility between Hamas and Abbas, who controls the West Bank.
Blinken said he and Netanyahu had discussed “other steps” that both leaders would need to take to set a “better path” for Israel and Palestine.
“As President Biden said, we believe that Palestinians and Israelis live equally, safely and securely, enjoy equal means of freedom, opportunity and democracy, and deserve to be treated with dignity. “I will.” Blinken said.
At least 253 people were killed and more than 1,900 injured in Gaza during the battles of hundreds of Israeli airstrikes, according to Palestinian health officials.
The Israeli army killed 13 people in Israel, and hundreds of people were treated for injuries after a rocket fire panicked and rushed people to shelters to Tel Aviv.
Commercial buildings, residential towers and private homes in the Gaza Strip, home to 2 million people, were damaged or destroyed by the time the ceasefire was announced.
In Gaza, Palestinian authorities estimate reconstruction costs at tens of millions of dollars. Israel has blocked its territory since 2007, when Palestinians have accused it of collective punishment. Egypt also has restrictions on its border with Gaza. Both countries cite security concerns about the measures.
Israel states that the airstrikes have achieved legitimate military goals and have done their best to avoid civilian casualties. This includes warning in advance when attempting to attack a home that has been stated to have military uses.
The hostilities were partially triggered by an Israeli police raid on the site of the Al-Axa Mosque in Jerusalem and a clash with Palestinians during the holy Ramadan month of Muslims.
Violence between Arabs and Jews also broke out in several cities in Israel, and Blinken said he had discussed with Netanyahu about community unrest.
“Healing these wounds will provide leadership at all levels,” Blinken said, repeating Biden’s accusations of what the Secretary of State called the “shocking eruption of anti-Semitic attacks” in the United States itself. It was.