ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

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Landing in Israel, Blinken calls on Israelis, Palestinians to halt ‘rising tide of violence’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a statement upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, January 30, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT / POOL / AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a statement upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, January 30, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT / POOL / AFP)

Landing in Tel Aviv, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls on Israelis and Palestinians not to inflame tensions amid one of the deadliest recent surges of violence.

“It’s the responsibility of everyone to take steps to calm tensions rather than inflame them,” the top US diplomat says after landing in Tel Aviv. “That is the only way to halt the rising tide of violence that has taken too many lives, too many Israelis, too many Palestinians.”

Blinken condemns the deadly terror attack near a synagogue in Jerusalem on Friday: “To take an innocent life in an act of terrorism is always a heinous crime, but to target people outside their place of worship is especially shocking,” he says.

“We condemn it in the strongest terms,” he adds. “We condemn all those who celebrate these and any other acts of terrorism that take civilian lives no matter who the victim is or what they believe. Calls for vengeance against more innocent victims are not the answer. And acts of retaliatory violence against civilians are never justified.”

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks with Blinken about the importance of working together to stop Iran’s nuclear program, and having the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps be designated by allies as a terrorist organization, the Foreign Ministry says.

“I thank the secretary of state for America’s commitment to regional stability,” says Cohen in a statement, “for the unequivocal message against terrorism that he offered immediately after landing in Israel, on the willingness to work to expand the Abraham Accords… and the continued determined front against Iran.”

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