Blinken visit reaches new urgency as Israeli, Palestinian tensions boil

January 31, 2023 12:15 pm

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a statement upon arrival at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on Monday. [Source: CNN News]

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Israel and the West Bank may have been in the works for weeks, but it couldn’t come at a more pressing time.

Both Palestinians and Israelis have suffered terrible bloodshed in the last few days, and fears are growing that the situation will spiral out of control. Thursday was the deadliest day for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in nearly two years, followed by a shooting near a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night, which Israel has deemed one of its worst terror attacks in recent years.

Even before the latest flare-up, the trip was expected to be prickly, as Blinken’s first visit to Israel since the installation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government – widely considered the most far-right and religious in Israeli history.

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Now hope hinges on the arrival of the US top diplomat on Monday to help cool the rising temperatures on the ground.