Palestine’s President Abbas tells Blinken that the PA will “fully assume our responsibilities within the framework of a comprehensive political solution that includes all of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”.
Israel’s heavy bombardment of Gaza has intensified, particularly in the north where many civilians remain trapped and unable to flee.
‘Israel raised important questions on humanitarian pauses’: US secretary
Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Baghdad following a trip to the occupied West Bank earlier in the day. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani met the American diplomat.
Blinken said the US is working hard to ensure the conflict in Gaza does not spread. “This is the very urgent and vital work of American diplomacy.”
Asked about potential “humanitarian pauses”, Blinken said: “This is a process. Israel has raised important questions about how this will work. We’ve got to answer those questions, and we’re working on exactly that. It’s important that pauses advance on the hostages. We’re intensely focused to bring them home.”
He added recent attacks “by Iran” on American forces in the region are “completely unacceptable”.
“We will take the necessary steps to protect our people. We don’t want conflict with Iran, but we’ll do what’s necessary to protect our personnel, be they military or civilian.”
Israeli soldiers aiding settlers in attacks, UN numbers show
The UN agency OCHA has recorded 198 settler attacks against Palestinians, resulting in Palestinian casualties (27 incidents), damage to Palestinian-owned property (138 incidents), or both casualties and damage to property (33 incidents).
“This reflects a daily average of seven incidents, compared with three since the beginning of the year. In nearly half of all incidents, Israeli forces were either accompanying, or actively supporting, the attackers,” the agency said.
Sixty-two Palestinians have been injured by settlers. Some 27 percent of those injuries have been caused by live ammunition, it added.__Courtesy aljazeera.com