Blinken to Visit Middle East as Risks of Regional Conflict Grow

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a joint press conference in Tel Aviv. (Photo: via Blinken TW Page, file)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Blinken will leave on Thursday night for stops in several capitals in the Middle East, including Israel, as risks of regional conflict grow.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will depart on Thursday for the Middle East, as part of the United States diplomatic consultations on Israel’s war on Gaza, the Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

Reuters cited a US official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, as saying that US diplomatic envoy Amos Hochstein will also travel to Israel to work to soothe tensions between Israel and the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah.

Blinken will leave on Thursday night “for stops in a number of capitals, including Israel,” the official reportedly said, without providing further details.

According to Reuters, US President Joe Biden spoke by phone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days about issues related to the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of Israeli captives currently held by Hamas.

Blinken’s visit comes after the killing of Hamas deputy head Saleh al-Arouri by an Israeli drone in the Beirut southern suburbs on Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours later, a terror attack hit the Iranian city of Kerman during a commemoration in honor of the late General Qassem Soleimani, killing over 100 people. 

On Wednesday, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned that his group would “fight without restraint” if Israel wages war on Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to pound Gaza by air, land, and sea for the 90th day in a row. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health,  22,313 Palestinians have been killed, and 57,296 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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