ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Blinken, Abbas discuss boosting ‘the security and freedom’ of West Bank Palestinians

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands before their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands before their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 30, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the “urgent need for measures to improve the security and freedom of Palestinians in the West Bank” during their meeting earlier today in Ramallah, the US readout says.

Blinken also raised US efforts to accelerate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza and condemned Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, which has increased significantly since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Blinken told Abbas that the US “would continue to insist on full accountability for those responsible,” the State Department readout adds.

“The secretary reiterated that the United States remains committed to advancing tangible steps for a Palestinian state,” the readout adds.

According to the PA’s official Wafa news agency, Abbas emphasized the need to reach a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, spare civilians from bombardments and increase the flow of humanitarian aid into the Strip.

Abbas also reportedly handed Blinken a “comprehensive file documenting Israeli occupation crime in Gaza, and the West Bank, including Jerusalem.” He urges Blinken to pressure the Israeli government to halt “repressive measures” allegedly adopted against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and to end the expulsion of Palestinians in the West Bank, particularly in the Jordan Valley.

The PA president reiterates the commitment of Palestinian leaders to take on responsibility for the people of Gaza, insisting that the coastal enclave falls under the jurisdiction of the “State of Palestine.” He also calls for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, along with full membership in the UN.

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