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During trip to Israel, Secretary of State Blinken vows to aid Gaza without helping Hamas

Antony Blinken
Posted at 12:07 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 07:22:48-04

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that he would help rally international support to aid Gaza following an 11-day war that took place there earlier this month.

In his comments, Blinken vowed to keep international resources out of the hands of the leaders of the pro-Palestine militant group.

"We know that to prevent a return to violence, we have to use the space created to address a larger set of underlying issues and challenges. And that begins with tackling the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and starting to rebuild," Blinken said, according to the Associated Press. "The United States will work to rally international support around that effort while also making our own significant contributions."

Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. However, he will not be meeting with the leaders of Hamas — a group deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S.

This month's conflict led to the death of 250 people — mostly Palestinians — and left many people homeless. While Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on Friday, the truce did not address the underlying causes of the conflict.

During his trip to the Middle East, Blinken will face the same obstacles that have stifled a wider peace process for more than a decade, including a hawkish Israeli leadership, Palestinian divisions and deeply rooted tensions surrounding Jerusalem and its holy sites.

Blinken is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the region since President Joe Biden assumed office.