Asked about the potential eviction of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah under a court order, Blinken says both Israel and the Palestinians are being asked by the United States to remove “potential catalysts for a renewed cycle of violence.”
At the same time, efforts will be made to restore trust between the sides and rehabilitate Gaza, he says.
Stressing that this process will take time, Blinken says that if successful, “that may, I think produce a better environment in which ultimately, there’s the possibility of resuming the effort to achieve a two-state solution which we continue to believe is the only way to assure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state and, of course, to give the Palestinians the state that they’re entitled to.”
“Any steps that either side takes that either risks sparking violence or over time, ultimately undermine the prospect of returning to the pursuit of two states, we oppose — and that includes settlement activity, it includes demolitions, it includes evictions, it includes incitement to violence, it includes payments to terrorists — all of those things, I think, would on the one hand potentially be catalysts for renewed tension and certainly undermine the prospects of two states,” says Blinken.
Blinken says this was clarified to both Israeli and Palestinian leaders during talks earlier today.