Blinken: US will aid Gaza without helping Hamas

Blinken off to Mideast to push peace talks after Gaza truce

U.S. secretary of state to push for peace talks during Middle East trip

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned Tuesday that worldwide aid to rebuild Gaza should not benefit its Hamas rulers as he held talks in Israel on firming up a days-old truce.

President Joe Biden announced Blinken would depart on Monday for a short visit to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt for what will be the Biden administration's highest-level, in-person meetings on the crisis that erupted earlier this month.

The 11-day conflict with Hamas in Gaza sparked inter-communal tensions in Israel itself between Jewish and Arab citizens of Palestinian descent, and amplified protests across the occupied West Bank.

Biden announced his visit and Blinken said he would work with local partners on "coordinated global efforts to ensure immediate assistance to Gaza".

He will begin his visit in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life after a fourth inconclusive election in two years.

Biden announced the visit, saying Blinken would work with regional partners on a "coordinated global effort to ensure immediate assistance reaches Gaza".

At least 284 Palestinians were killed in Palestinian territories by the occupying forces since April against the backdrop of an Israeli court verdict to evict Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

Blinken will not be meeting with the other party to the war, the Islamic militant group Hamas, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist.

"In the wake of the ceasefire, Secretary Blinken will be travelling to Israel and the West Bank today and tomorrow, where he'll meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders".

During the last major hostilities between Israel and Hamas, a 2014 war that lasted seven weeks, Israel's central bank estimated the country's economy took a 3.5 billion shekel hit, plus almost the same amount in damage to the tourism sector.

Blinken on Sunday reaffirmed U.S. support for a two-state solution as the only way to provide hope to Israelis and Palestinians that they can live "with equal measures of security, of peace and dignity".

Palestinian news agency WAFA said that Israeli forces had shot dead a 17-year-old Palestinian high school student from occupied east Jerusalem.

In addition to tension, police shot and killed the perpetrators in what they described as a terrorist attack after Israeli soldiers and civilians were stabbed and injured in East Jerusalem on Monday.

Abbas, who canceled the Palestinian elections for the first time in 15 years last month, saw the collapse of the Fatah movement suffering an embarrassing defeat, but many Palestinians believe it has lost all legitimacy.

Shoukry discussed with Abbas ways to revive the peace process and to provide all necessary support and assistance to Palestinian people.

The administration had been roundly criticized for its perceived hands-off initial response to the deadly violence, including from Democratic allies in Congress who demanded it take a tougher line on Israel.

The administration has defended its response by saying it engaged in intense, but quiet, high-level diplomacy to support a ceasefire, which was ultimately arranged last week after Egyptian mediation. Israel says the blockade is needed to keep Hamas from importing arms, while the Palestinians and human rights groups view it as a form of collective punishment.

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