- The Washington Times - Monday, May 24, 2021

President Biden said Monday he is sending Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the Middle East to recommit the U.S. to Israel’s security and rebuild ties with the Palestinian people and its leaders “after years of neglect.”

“Following up on our quiet, intensive diplomacy to bring about a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, I have asked my secretary of state, Tony Blinken, to travel to the Middle East this week,” Mr. Biden said.

The visit follows 11 days of intense airstrikes between Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, and Israel, which struck Gaza.

Some critics asked why the U.S. didn’t send an envoy to the region immediately. The White House said it engaged in exhaustive, off-camera efforts. 

Liberal members of Mr. Biden’s party also pressed Mr. Biden to show more support for Palestinians, forcing him to navigate the politics of showing unwavering U.S. support for Israel while differentiating between everyday Palestinians and the militants in Hamas.

Mr. Biden said Mr. Blinken will work with regional partners to “ensure immediate assistance reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people there and not Hamas, and on reducing the risk of further conflict in the coming months.”

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