Blinken thanks Abbas for efforts to calm situation in West Bank

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan on October 13, 2023. (State Department)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan on October 13, 2023. (State Department)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman earlier today, the State Department says.

Blinken in the meeting “reiterated the United States’ unequivocal condemnation of the abhorrent terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel [and] detailed US efforts to coordinate with partners to prevent the conflict from widening,” according to the US readout.

Blinken “extended his condolences to the families of Palestinian civilian victims of this conflict, and reiterated that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to dignity, freedom, justice, and self-determination.”

The secretary thanked “Abbas and his team for their work to further calm the situation for the benefit of Palestinians, Israelis, and the tens of thousands of Americans who also call the West Bank home.”

‘Blinken reaffirmed the US commitment to cooperation with the Palestinian leadership and people on efforts to ensure security for all,” the US readout says.

For his part, Abbas told Blinken he is opposed to Palestinians being forced to leave Palestinian territory against the backdrop of Israel warning over one million Gazans in the northern part of the enclave to evacuate to the south by midnight on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing a State Department official.

Abbas also “stressed the need to immediately stop the Israeli aggression,” and allow the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Gaza, the PA readout says.

Abbas warned Blinken “of a humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza due to the ongoing aerial bombardment by Israel, according to the PA readout.

He blasted settler terrorism in the West Bank against Palestinians and stressed his rejection of targeting civilians on both sides, without explicitly condemning Hamas.

Abbas also called for a two-state solution with Israel on the pre-1967 lines.

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