US Secretary of State
November 16, 2023 – In a decisive diplomatic effort, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has taken a stand against the escalating violence in the West Bank, urging Israel to implement immediate measures to address the surge in settler attacks against Palestinians. This move comes amid heightened tensions since the Israel-Hamas war.
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Urgent Diplomatic Call
During a pivotal phone call with Benny Gantz, a prominent figure in Israeli politics, Blinken highlighted the critical need for Israel to confront the rising extremism among settlers.
“Blinken stressed the urgent need for affirmative steps to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank, including by confronting rising levels of settler extremist violence,” according to a statement from the US State Department.
Escalating Crisis in the Region
The UN reports a worrying increase in settler violence, with incidents rising significantly since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war. Concurrently, Israeli forces have intensified military operations across the West Bank and Gaza, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.
Situation on the Ground
Reports from Palestinian news sources and Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum reveal a severe situation in Jenin and Gaza. Hospitals, including the al-Shifa Hospital, struggle under the Israeli military’s occupation, facing acute shortages of medical supplies and essential services.
“Patients are receiving medical treatment on the ground inside hospitals, and they don’t have enough food and water to survive. As well as the severe wounds they have, they also face hunger,” reports Abu Azzoum.
Blinken’s Comprehensive Approach
Blinken’s conversation with Gantz wasn’t limited to settler violence. It encompassed efforts to enhance humanitarian aid in Gaza, secure the release of captives, and prevent the conflict from widening.
As the situation unfolds, Blinken’s call for action is a crucial step in addressing the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.