Blinken trip to Israel aimed to ensure Israel, Hamas ceasefire holds


Staff member
Blinken trip to Israel aimed to ensure Israel, Hamas ceasefire holds
Netanyahu warns Israel may act independently against nuclear Iran
MAY 24, 2021

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken departed for the Middle East on Monday evening to discuss the Israel-Hamas ceasefire and Gaza reconstruction. “Leaving today for Jerusalem,” Blinken tweeted on Monday evening. “Even as we were working with the parties and partners to help reach a ceasefire, we were also focused on the road ahead, including steps we could take to build a better future for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Though Blinken and the State Department did not say Iran was on his agenda, Israeli officials plan to raise the issue, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying on Monday that Israel may have to make “independent decisions” to stop the nuclear threat. This will be Blinken’s first trip to the region as America’s top diplomat, and comes just days after the end of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. Blinken is expected to land in Israel early Tuesday morning, where Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi will meet him.

The secretary of state will meet with Netanyahu, then with Netanyahu and Ashkenazi, followed by a meeting with Ashkenazi alone, and then with Foreign Ministry diplomats, as well as Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan. He is also expected to meet with President Reuven Rivlin. Blinken plans to continue on to Ramallah and to Egypt, which brokered the truce.