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Blinken visits Israel during cease-fire

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel Tuesday to address tensions between Israel and Palestinian terror groups. The trip comes after weeks of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and during a cease fire.

As noted by reporter Jackson Richman, the press release revealed he visited Jerusalem. The US recognized Israel’s capital when the embassy was moved to Jerusalem in 2018 under President Donald Trump.

Blinken will be in the area until Thursday. He promised to accomplish further peace-keeping during his trip.

“I’m here, as I said earlier, to reaffirm the strong commitment of United States to Israel’s security, to the partnership between us, to move forward now on dealing with the humanitarian situation in Gaza and also starting to rebuild, to re-engage with the Palestinian community and Palestinian Authority,” Blinken said alongside Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi before their meeting. He was repeating his pledge from earlier with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and repeated himself again to the US embassy.

Blinken’s visit comes after many GOP lawmakers accused the Biden administration of not supporting Israel enough as an ally. The Secretary of State was involved in Israeli issues back in 2014. Netanyahu thanked him personally and publicly because he “supported us by having Iron Dome replenishments, a quarter of a billion dollars, that [Blinken] personally shepherded through the system very quickly.” He also thanked Blinken and Biden “for firmly supporting Israel’s right of self-defense.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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CIA director meets with Israeli PM to arouse regional support following drone attack

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns visited Israel Wednesday in an effort to rally regional support amidst attacks from Iran. Burns discussed possibilities for regional cooperation with Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Late July, drones struck an Israeli tanker off the coast of Oman. As a result, two crew members died. Since then, the United States blamed Tehran for the attack. Iranian officials deny their involvement.

At the time, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House was noticing a disturbing pattern. “We feel it follows a pattern of attacks and other belligerent behavior,” Psaki said. “And these actions also threaten freedom of navigation through crucial waterways — something that is posing a risk to a range of countries around the world.”
 
Therefore, the press secretary suggested that countries get involved. “You know, I would also note that we know our British partners have called for action, called for steps in a coordinated way from international bodies, including the United Nations, which we would certainly support,” Psaki said. Now, Burns’ visit symbolizes the United State following through on the White House’s comments.

According to a statement from Burns’ office, he met with Bennett after meeting with the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligency agency David Barnea. Burns met the Israeli leader in Tel-Aviv. “They discussed the situation in the Middle East, with emphasis on Iran, and possibilities for expanding and deepening regional cooperation,” the statement read.

Next, Burns will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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