Secretary of State Antony Blinken left Monday to travel to the Middle East following the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that ended nearly two weeks of violence in Gaza.
President Joe Biden said Blinken "will continue our administration's efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and leaders, after years of neglect."
The State Department said Blinken will visit Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt. The White House said during the trip he will meet with Israeli leaders and discuss "ironclad" U.S. commitment to Israeli security.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to the Middle East on Monday, where he will meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as the fragile ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas continues to holdhttps://t.co/DnF1PqzSzh— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 24, 2021
In Israel, Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin. In Ramallah, he'll join Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Blinken said Sunday that Biden is committed to a two-state solution in Gaza while allowing Israel the "means to defend itself."
Blinken said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end in a way that allows both to live with "equal measures of security, of peace and of dignity."
I have asked Secretary Blinken to travel to the Middle East to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and other key partners. He will discuss our continued commitment to Israel’s security and the coordinated effort to ensure assistance reaches Gaza. https://t.co/Mg6X0qvt7L— President Biden (@POTUS) May 24, 2021
The trip comes days after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire in Gaza took effect and ended an 11-day Israeli bombing campaign that killed more than 230 people.
After the cease-fire, Biden said the United States will provide humanitarian aid to Gaza in a partnership with the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. government
Earlier this year, Biden's administration restored more than $200 million in U.S. aid to Palestinians, most through the United Nations refugee program, which had been cut out by former President Donald Trump.
The United States provides billions in military aid to Israel, including a current $735 million arms sale, which some congressional Democrats are trying to block.
Last week, Biden promised Netanyahu full support to "replenish" Israel's Iron Dome defense system that was used to repel Hamas rocket attacks.
"We're committed to giving Israel the means to defend itself," Blinken said Sunday.
"At the same time, any arms sale is going to be done in full consultation with Congress."
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