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RAMALLAH: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shuttled from Israel to the Palestinians’ West Bank on Tuesday, appealing for an end to resurgent violence and reaffirming Washington’s backing for a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict.

Blinken is urging calm on both sides after last week’s killing by a Palestinian gunman of seven people outside a Jerusalem synagogue and anger among Palestinians over actions by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank.

He took that message into a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, warning all parties against any action that could threaten a two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Blinken urges calm in flaring Israeli-Palestinian conflict

“We’ve been clear that this includes things like settlement expansion, the legalization of outposts, demolitions and evictions, disruptions to the historic status of the holy sites, and of course incitement and acquiescence to violence.”

Blinken’s first visit since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power this month at the head of one of the most right-wing governments in Israel’s history comes at a time of extreme tension between the two sides. He said Palestinians were facing a “shrinking horizon of hope” that needed to change. Amid rising anger at near-daily raids by Israeli forces in the West Bank, Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) suspended its security cooperation agreement with Israel last week after the largest incursion in years.

The operation saw Israeli forces penetrate deep into a refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin, setting off a gunfight in which 10 Palestinians died.

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