US again backs two-state solution in call

WASHINGTON. – United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Department of State said in a statement on Saturday.

The top US diplomat discussed joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom in a call with Abbas on Friday, the statement said.

Blinken “underscored his deep concern over the situation in the West Bank, including heightened tensions, violence, and loss of both Palestinian and Israeli lives, and emphasised the need for all parties to de-escalate the situation urgently,” according to the Department of State.

He also “further reaffirmed our commitment to a two-state solution,” which envisions an independent state of Palestine alongside Israel.

The statement came against the backdrop of soaring violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinian president apprised the US secretary of state of the Israeli attacks against Palestinians, the Israeli blockade of Palestinian towns and villages as well as settler violence, the Wafa news agency reported.

Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and the occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday, as Israel tallied the final votes in national elections held this week.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a comfortable majority backed by far-right allies, including Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Otzma Yehudit party, who has called for Palestinians “disloyal” to Israel to be expelled.

On Friday, tensions flared up again in the blockaded Gaza Strip as Israeli fighter jets targeted what they called a “rocket manufacturing site”, in response to several rockets fired towards Israel – the first launched since Israel’s three-day deadly military offensive in the besieged enclave in August.

No Palestinian faction claimed the rocket attacks. – Al Jazeera.

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