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Blinken expresses condolences, condemns Gaza rocket attacks in call with Abbas

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media prior to a meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi at the State Department in Washington, Monday, May 10, 2021. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media prior to a meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi at the State Department in Washington, Monday, May 10, 2021. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken phoned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas earlier today to discuss the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, the State Department says.

During their call, Blinken “expressed his condolences for the lives lost as a result” of the violence. He also condemned rocket fire from Gaza and “emphasized the need to de-escalate tensions and bring the current violence to an end.”

“The Secretary also expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security and prosperity,” the readout says, parroting a new favorite talking point of the Biden administration.

Blinken conveyed his best wishes to Abbas for Eid al Fitr and expressed hope that peace and calm would prevail, the readout said.

Blinken is the most senior US official to speak with Abbas since Joe Biden entered office. The US delivered a letter to Abbas on Monday from Biden that was written prior to the latest round of violence, but the president has yet to speak to his Palestinian counterpart.

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