“We want to make sure there is an environment in which we can, hopefully, at some point, create the conditions to start restoring a sense of security for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.
And Israel, where Blinken arrived on Monday, is his second stop after Cairo, where he met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
And the pace of violence between Palestinians and Israel continues to mount, as the arrival of the US Secretary of State preceded the killing of a Palestinian youth by Israeli army bullets in the southern occupied West Bank, as confirmed by both Palestinian and Israeli.
A Palestinian killed seven people, including a child, outside a Jewish synagogue in East Jerusalem on Friday, after ten Palestinians were killed Thursday during an Israeli military operation in Jenin refugee camp, which the army said took targeting Islamic Jihad activists.
The US administration has condemned the “horrific” attack on occupied East Jerusalem.
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli bullets since the beginning of questhe year in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967 has risen to 35, including armed men, civilians and children, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.
Blinken also met in evening with his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, before meeting Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Blinken confirmed that he and Netanyahu have discussed preserving the status quo at the Al-Aqsa mosque complex in East Jerusalem.
And the Noble Shrine, which includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque – the first of the two Qiblas and the third of the Two Holy Mosques after Mecca and Medina – is the holiest religious site for Muslims in what Jews call the “Temple Mount” is their holiest religious site.
Blinken will also travel to Ramallah, in West Bank, for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
During his press conference in Jerusalem, Blinken touched on the issue of Iran, Israel’s sworn enemy.
“We agree that Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons,” he said.
“Just as Iran has long supported terrorists attacking Israelis and others, the (Iranian) regime now supplies drones that Russia uses to kill innocent Ukrainian civilians,” he added.
According to the US secretary, “Russia, in exchange, supplies Iran with advanced weapons”.
Kiev and its Western allies accuse Iran of supplying Russia with drones for its war in Ukraine, which Tehran vehemently denies.
In November, Tehran admitted to supplying Moscow with a series of drones, noting that this was done before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February.
Furthermore, Israel accuses the Islamic Republic of trying to develop a nuclear bomb, which Tehran denies.
The Jewish state says it is trying by all means to prevent Tehran from achieving this goal, as well as to deal with Iranian influence in Middle East.
Some experts speak of a possible visit by Netanyahu to the White House in February.
– American discontent Observers believe that the margin for maneuver available to the US Secretary of State remains limited.
Last Monday in Cairo, Blinken discussed with the Egyptian president about “reducing tension”.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said they “discussed existing efforts to reduce tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” emphasizing Cairo’s “important” role in “promoting regional stability.”
However, US officials are not hiding in conversations private their dissatisfaction with the escalation and stalemate of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Although little progress is expected in terms of de-escalation, Washington is trying to re-communicate with Netanyahu, whose government, described as the most right-wing in Israel’s history, was sworn in late last year.
The official Palestinian news agency (Wafa) confirmed Abbas’ meeting with US intelligence chief William Burns and their discussion on “dangerous developments and Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people”.
However, the US embassy did not confirm to AFP that the meeting took place.
On Saturday night, Israel announced a series of measures to deny what it calls the rights of “terrorist families,” such as canceling social security, in parallel with the facilitation of obtaining permits by Israeli citizens to carry firearms.
The alert level of Israeli forces has been raised, while the army has announced the strengthening of its forces in west bank, in one moment in which international calls for moderation continued.
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