Top US diplomat says rebuilding Gaza should not 'benefit' Hamas

Top US diplomat says rebuilding Gaza should not 'benefit' Hamas”

In his first Middle East tour amid a key moment in the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Antony Blinken made clear USA support for ally Israel stood the test of an 11-day bombardment that some say might have constituted war crimes.

US President Joe Biden said his top envoy will meet "with Israeli leaders about our ironclad commitment to Israel's security", as well as seeking to rebuild ties with the Palestinians.

Blinken "will continue our administration's efforts to rebuild ties to, and support for, the Palestinian people and leaders, after years of neglect", the United States president said.

Blinken will also visit neighboring Egypt and Jordan, which made peace with Israel decades ago and have acted as mediators in the conflict.

Shoukry said that the two-state solution must be activated in Palestine in order to meet the people's demands and achieve peace.

The truce that came into effect Friday has so far held, but it did not address any of the underlying issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something Blinken acknowledged after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to worldwide law, East Jerusalem is amongst occupied Palestinian territories that were captured during the 1967 war, where "transferring own civilian population into is considered a war crime".

"There's lots of hard work ahead to restore hope, respect and some trust across the communities", the USA top diplomat said. "We are certainly going to look for ways to improve Israeli and Palestinian lives, and as we've said over and over again, advance freedom, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike, hopefully in tangible ways in the immediate term", said the official.

"It is a letter of solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority", the Foreign Minister said.

More news: Canada’s entertainment industry is losing millions due to the coronavirus pandemic

Rocket and other fire from Gaza claimed 12 lives in Israel, including one child and an Arab-Israeli teenager, an Israeli soldier, one Indian and two Thais, medics say.

He stressed that Israel has neither the right nor legitimacy to displace the people of Sheikh Jarrah from their homes, which is a war crime that should not be allowed by the global community. Blinken's Middle East visit, which chooses Israel as the first stop, aims to consolidate the ceasefire.

The man was killed during an Israeli arrest raid on the Al-Amara refugee camp near Ramallah, the sources said.

An Israeli soldier and a civilian were stabbed near a light rail station in east Jerusalem on Monday before the assailant was shot and killed by police, who described it as a terrorist attack.

Palestinian news agency WAFA identified the casualty as a 17-year-old Palestinian high school student.

Peace talks have stalled since 2014, including over the status of east Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The latest military escalation started after bloody clashes in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site, which is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount.

The site has seen several outbreaks of Israeli-Palestinian violence over the years and was the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

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.

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