Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Sunday during his visit to Ramallah, following stops Blinken made in Israel and Jordan.
Abbas and Blinken met twice in Jordan during the latter’s trip to the region last month after the attack. According to a senior State Department official, Blinken thought it was important to update Abbas “on a lot of the work that we have been doing in some of our meetings with the government of Israel,” saying that Blinken told Abbas “how we, in our meeting on Friday, pressed Israel to minimize civilian harm; gave him an update on our work to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza (and) get essential services restored; and (described) our conversations with Israel about implementing a humanitarian pause.”
The meeting between the two was focused on Gaza’s present situation and the situation in the West Bank, amid escalating settler violence following Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7. Abbas had held a similar position to that of the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan on the need for a ceasefire in Gaza; however, the U.S. has been calling for “humanitarian pauses” to allow increased aid to flow into the area According to a State Department readout of the roughly hourlong meeting, Blinken and Abbas “discussed efforts to restore calm and stability in the West Bank, including the need to stop extremist violence against Palestinians and hold those accountable responsible,” while Blinken “reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance and resumption of essential services in Gaza and made clear that Palestinians must not be forcibly displaced.”
Blinken had met with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv on Friday, and said he heard “a clear commitment from the government to deal with extremist violence in the West Bank, to condemn it, to take action to prevent it, to take action against those who perpetrate it … This is important, and we will be looking closely to ensure that our friends make good on that commitment.”
Editorial credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com