U.S. Secretary of State arrives in Israel for a Middle East trip to support Gaza ceasefire
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel at the beginning of his journey in the Middle East with the purpose of supporting the ceasefire in Gaza.
He will face obstacles that hinder the broader peace process for more than a decade, including Israeli hawkish leaders, the division of Palestine, and the deep-rooted tensions surrounding Jerusalem and its holy sites.
The 11-day war in Gaza killed more than 250 people, most of them Palestinians, and caused extensive damage in impoverished coastal territories. Brinken is expected to focus on coordinating reconstruction work without having to contact Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by Israel and Western countries.
The armistice agreement that went into effect on Friday has been in place so far, but it has not resolved any potential problems.
Since President Joe Biden took office, Brinken is the highest-ranking American official who arrived in Israel early on Tuesday.
The U.S. government had hoped to free the U.S. from thorny conflicts in the region and focus on competition with China and climate change. However, like many of its predecessors, it was drawn back to the Middle East due to violence.
Brinken will begin his visit to Israel, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Benjamin Netanyahu) is fighting for his political life after his fourth inconclusive election in two years. Netanyahu faces increasing criticism from Israelis who say he ended the offensive prematurely without forcibly stopping the Palestinian rocket attacks or causing more damage to the militant Hamas ruler in Gaza. Big blow.
Police clashed with protesters
The war was triggered by weeks of clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is part of the Holy Land in the Old City of Jerusalem and is respected by Muslims and Jews. The purpose of the protests was Israel’s policing of the area during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Jewish settlers threatened to expel dozens of Palestinian families.
Before the fighting in Gaza broke out, the eviction was put on hold, but legal procedures will resume in the coming weeks. A few hours after the ceasefire took effect, on Friday, police briefly clashed with protesters in Al-Aqsa. Over the years, the website has broken out several violent conflicts between Israel and Palestine.
Netanyahu is unlikely to make any public concessions to Al-Aqsa or the expulsion, as this would be seen as succumbing to Hamas’ demands.
On Monday, in East Jerusalem, an Israeli soldier and a civilian were stabbed and then killed by police. The police killed the attacker in the attack, which is called a terrorist attack.
According to a report by the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa News Agency, a Palestinian man was shot and killed by secret Israeli forces early on Tuesday near Ramallah. Ramallah is the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. Photos circulating online seem to show the man, identified as Ahmed Jamil Fahed (Ahmed Jamil Fahed), bleeding and lying on the street. The Israeli army referred the issue to the border police, who did not respond to a request for comment.
Brinken will not meet with Hamas.
Instead, he will travel to the occupied West Bank to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has no power in Gaza and is largely on the sidelines in recent events.
Abbas canceled the first Palestinian election in 15 years last month. At that time, the breakdown of his Fatah movement would be an embarrassing failure. Many Palestinians believed that Abbas had lost all legitimacy. On Friday, a group of believers in Al-Aqsa chanted against his Palestinian Authority and supported Hamas.
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But in the international arena, Abbas is still regarded as the representative of the Palestinian people and an important partner in the peace process that has been stagnating for a long time.
Brinken will also visit neighboring Egypt and Jordan, the latter of which made peace with Israel decades ago and acted as a mediator in the conflict. After the Biden government urged Israel to end its offensive operations, Egypt successfully promoted a ceasefire agreement in Gaza.
Biden announced his visit, and he said that Brinken would work with regional partners in an “international coordinated effort to ensure immediate assistance to Gaza.”
The Bush administration took an unrealistic initial response to this deadly violent action and was severely criticized, including the demands of Congressional Democratic allies to take a tougher line against Israel. Biden has repeatedly reiterated what he said is Israel’s right to defend itself from Gaza rockets.
The Obama administration defended its response, saying it had engaged in fierce but quiet high-level diplomacy in support of the ceasefire.
In an interview with CNN last weekend, Brinken said that the Bush administration is now focusing on trying to “build something more positive” and that Palestinians and Israelis deserve “equal opportunities, security and dignity measures.” “.
He said that now is not the right time to resume negotiations immediately, but measures can be taken to repair the damage caused by Israeli air strikes, which have destroyed hundreds of houses and infrastructure in Gaza.
Since Hamas seized power from Abbas’s army in 2007, the narrow coastal area has more than 2 million Palestinians and has been under a severe Israeli-Egypt blockade. Israel stated that the blockade is a necessary condition to prevent Hamas from importing weapons, while the Palestinians and human rights groups regard it as a form of collective punishment.