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Antony Blinken Says US Opposes Anything That Makes Two-State Solution ‘Further Away’ After Jerusalem Violence | American News

US ‘will continue to oppose anything’ that makes a two-state solution ‘further away’ after one of bloodiest months in West Bank and East Jerusalem in several years, Secretary of State says US state.

Antony Blinken said the United States opposes Israeli settlement expansion and any attempt to annex the West Bank.

The US Secretary of State spoke at a press conference in Jerusalem on the second day of a two-day visit to Israel where he met with the country’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

His comments come days after two shootings, one by a Palestinian sniper and the other by a Palestinian teenager, left seven dead and five injured in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, some 35 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, including 10 who were killed in an Israeli military raid in the burning city of Jenin last Thursday.

Mr Blinken said today: “The horrific terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the escalation of violence in the West Bank, have underscored the significant challenges to security and stability that the region faces and that we face.

“A rising tide of violence has resulted in the loss of many innocent lives on both sides…all parties must take action to prevent a further escalation of violence and restore calm.”

He continued, “It is President Biden’s firm belief that the only way to achieve (peace) is to preserve and then realize the vision of two states for two peoples.

“The United States will continue to oppose anything that makes that goal even more unattainable.

“We have been clear that this includes things like expanding settlements, legalizing outposts, demolitions and
evictions, disruption of the historic status of holy sites, and of course incitement and acquiescence to violence.”

Antony Blinken spoke to reporters in Jerusalem

Mr Blinken also said that in his meetings in Israel and the occupied West Bank he had heard “deep concern about the current trajectory”.

However, he also said he has heard concrete ideas from both sides which, if followed, could help defuse the current situation.

Mr Blinken’s first visit since Mr Netanyahu returned to power this month as head of one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history comes at a time of extreme tension between the two parts.

He said Palestinians faced a “narrowing horizon of hope” that needed to change.

Amid growing anger over near-daily raids by Israeli forces in the West Bank, Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) suspended its security cooperation agreement with Israel last week after the biggest incursion in years .

The operation saw Israeli forces penetrate deep into a refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin, triggering a shootout in which 10 Palestinians died.

In January alone, 35 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops, the bloodiest month since 2015, while officials say attacks on Palestinian properties by Israeli settlers have also increased.

On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed seven people outside a synagogue in an East Jerusalem settlement on Friday.

The next morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy shot and wounded two Israelis elsewhere in East Jerusalem.

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