US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman to discuss the aftermath of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, particularly the repercussions in the occupied West Bank. Blinken reiterated the US’s condemnation of Hamas’ attacks and detailed US efforts to coordinate with partners to prevent the conflict from widening.
He extended condolences to Palestinian civilian victims and reiterated that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity, freedom, justice, and self-determination. Blinken thanked Abbas for his efforts to calm the region and reaffirmed the US commitment to cooperation with the Palestinian leadership and people on security for all.
Blinken’s trip to Jordan, along much of Israel’s eastern border, comes after meeting with officials in Israel and those directly affected by the attack and war. He also met with King Abdullah II, who has been in touch with President Joe Biden since the crisis in Gaza erupted. They discussed the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and efforts to secure the release of all hostages and prevent the conflict from widening.
Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, is under pressure from Palestinians due to Israeli and Egyptian blockades on the Gaza Strip and Israeli airstrikes in response to Hamas’ attack. The Israeli military has ordered residents of northern Gaza to evacuate south, raising fears of a potential ground assault. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Abbas separately and discussed ways to stop the aggression against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Abbas called for an immediate end to aggression towards Palestinians and the need to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as water and electricity in the enclave that Israel cut off as part of a total siege. He also called for political action to end Israel’s occupation but also said that civilians, prisoners, and detainees should be released on both sides of the conflict.
Abbas reaffirmed his belief that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the legitimate group representing all Palestinians, not Hamas, a reminder of their opposition. The PLO and Hamas have largely been adversaries for almost two decades, with Hamas dismissing all agreements between the two groups. In a 2006 election, the Fatah party lost its majority in Palestinian territories to Hamas, leading to ongoing conflict between Hamas and the PLO. Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have discussed safe passage for civilians in Gaza, which he will pursue in the coming days.