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In Ramallah Meeting, Blinken Expresses Support for Creation of Palestinian State

(JNS) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed support for “tangible steps” towards the creation of a Palestinian state in Yehuda, Shomron and the Gaza Strip during a meeting with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Sources cited by Sky News Arabia described the tête-à-tête, during which Blinken also touched on “administrative reforms” in the P.A. that Washington would like to see, as “tense” and marked by “arguments.”

Abbas reportedly demanded that Blinken push Israel to unconditionally release all tax revenue it collects on Ramallah’s behalf.

“If you do not have the ability to release funds, how will you have the ability to put pressure on Israel and achieve peace and a Palestinian state?” Sky News Arabia quoted Abbas as telling Blinken.

Following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, Israel’s Security Cabinet voted to withhold approximately $100 million in P.A. funds earmarked for Hamas-controlled Gaza, in addition to monies equal to the hundreds of millions the P.A. pays in stipends to convicted Palestinian terrorists and their relatives each month.

The P.A. subsequently threatened to refuse all funds collected by Israel, and in late October, Blinken told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee that the Biden administration asked Israel to release the Gaza funds.

Abbas also stressed to Blinken “the need to immediately stop the war of extermination against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, so that the political solution based on international legitimacy can be implemented.”

The P.A. chief demanded that the Palestinian Authority be granted “full membership in the United Nations by a decision of the Security Council,” Wafa reported.

A State Department readout said, “The Secretary reaffirmed that the United States supports tangible steps towards the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, with both living in peace and security.”

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