RAMALLAH/GAZA, Feb 1 (NNN-WAFA) – U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s visit to the West Bank, prompted outrage among many Palestinians, who demonstrated yesterday, to express their opposition to the U.S. top diplomat’s presence in the Palestinian territory.
The protesters, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, raised the Palestinian flags and chanted anti-U.S. slogans, accusing it of being biased towards Israel and all its violations of Palestinian rights.
“The matter is very simple. Blinken came here to pressure the Palestinian leadership to not adopt any decision against the security cooperation with Israel,” said Nael Salama, who took part in a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, carrying a banner of “The U.S. is criminal as long as it supports Israel.”
“We came here to deliver our message to Blinken that, he is not welcome in our country as his administration’s full bias towards Israel and its practices against the Palestinian people,” Issam Baker, the coordinator of the national and Islamic forces in Ramallah, said.
He emphasised that, the U.S. administration used “double standards” in dealing with the Palestinian issue, adding that, it will “only lead to further continuation of the cycle of violence.”
Since the start of 2023, Israeli forces have killed at least 35 Palestinians, making Jan one of the most deadly months in the West Bank in recent years. Most casualties occurred during Israeli military raids, which Israel says aimed to detain Palestinian militants. However, women and children were also shot.
In retaliation, a shooting attack launched by a Palestinian gunman outside a synagogue in an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem claimed the lives of seven people on Friday night.
Ahmed Abu Dalfa, a protester in the Gaza Strip, said that, Blinken’s visit will not bring benefits to the Palestinian people because Washington is “abandoning” its promises to Palestine.
Earlier in the day, Blinken held a meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, at the Palestinian presidential headquarters in Ramallah after his meetings with Israeli leaders.
Blinken urged both the Palestinians and Israelis to calm tensions, while reiterating Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security.
Following his meeting with Blinken, Abbas said that, the Israeli government “is fully responsible for the current tension and violence in the Palestinian territories” because it has undermined the two-state solution and violated the signed agreements.
Abbas accused the international community of failing to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, and its settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.– NNN-WAFA