US backs two-state solution in appeal to Palestinian leader


US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said on Saturday. .

The move came as hawkish former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who did not endorse the idea of ​​two states, sealed his return to power after Tuesday’s election and launched talks on forming it. which could be the most right-wing government in the history of Israel.

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During a call with Abbas on Friday, Blinken “further reaffirmed our commitment to a two-state solution,” the State Department said in a statement.

Blinken and Abbas also discussed “joint efforts to improve the quality of life of the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom.”

The election result came amid growing violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Israeli military said Friday morning that its fighter jets targeted a rocket manufacturing site in the blockaded Gaza Strip, in response to several rockets fired at Israel.

On Thursday, four Palestinians, including an assailant, were killed by Israeli forces in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Blinken “underscored his deep concern over the situation in the West Bank, including the heightened tensions, violence and loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives, and stressed the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation,” according to the State Department. .

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