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Israel’s Blinken Meets Netanyahu’s New Hardline Government As Violence With Palestinians Intensifies

Jerusalem — Israel and the occupied West Bank were rocked by violence last weekend, including attacks in East Jerusalem. In the attack, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a Jewish settlement in the conflict zone of the Holy Land, killing seven people. The latest bloodshed comes after weeks of heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. And when Secretary of State Anthony Brinken arrived in Jerusalem, Israel’s new far-right government.

Blinken’s visit was always tense given the stark differences between President Joe Biden’s administration in Washington and Israel’s newly seated government. That was all the more true as the death toll rose in both years of the stalemate.

After the deadliest attack on Israelis since 2008, the funeral of Eli and Natalie Mizrahi, a married couple in their 40s, was emotional and angry. A 21-year-old Palestinian was one of seven people killed Friday in a shooting near a synagogue in East Jerusalem.

Deadly attack in Israel highlights escalating violence in Middle East


“It’s disturbing and shocking. I realize it can happen to anyone,” said Haim Cohen, who lives in the area.

Another shooting on Saturday, this time by a Palestinian boy aged just 13, seriously injured two men.

the shooting happened after a deadly incident Raid by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank Nine Palestinians died on Thursday, including 61-year-old grandmother Majida Obaid.

This month alone, the death toll of Palestinians in clashes with Israeli forces has reached 34, most of them Israeli-identified militants.

Re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet in response to escalating violence — It is said to be the most extreme far-right government in Israeli history. — announced a series of punitive measures aimed at Palestinians.

Thousands of Israelis protest new government’s far-right policies


Among these responses, Israel could force families suspected of the attack out of their homes, weld their doors shut, and strip them of their citizenship.

This is a form of collective punishment, said Yusuf Abu Thea, a resident of East Jerusalem.

“His brothers, family, mother and father should not be punished,” he said. “They have nothing to do with it.”

Israel United States Middle East
US Secretary of State Antony Brinken issued a statement as he arrived at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on January 30, 2023.

Ronald Shemit/AP

Secretary of State Brinken’s tough diplomacy also included meeting Palestinian leaders who cut security cooperation with Israel after the deadly raids in the West Bank.

The challenge for Blinken is to find a common language for both sides that can prevent the situation from devolving into yet another major conflict.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-news-antony-blinken-netanyahu-palestinians-violence-west-bank/ Israel’s Blinken Meets Netanyahu’s New Hardline Government As Violence With Palestinians Intensifies

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