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US Secretary of State Blinken to visit Israel, PA next week

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference at the State Department, January 17, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference at the State Department, January 17, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel and the West Bank for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leadership.

Blinken is slated to hold meetings in Israel on Monday before traveling to the West Bank to sit down on Tuesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides, a Palestinian official tells The Times of Israel.

Blinken will be the second senior Biden administration official to visit Israel this month, coming less than two weeks after White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

A US official told The Times of Israel earlier this month that the meetings are aimed at gaining an understanding regarding the new government’s plans vis-a-vis the West Bank while making clear the administration’s red lines on the issue.

The US is also using the trips to convey its stance in support of maintaining the status quo at the flashpoint Temple Mount and has also asked for clarification regarding the new government’s plans to overhaul the country’s judicial system, an official familiar said.

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