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State Secretary Antony Blinken emphasized the focus of the Biden government on an “equal peace” between Israel and the Palestinian people after the recent bloody conflict in the region.
After eleven days of fighting, the two nations agreed on an unconditional ceasefire, which led to intense international scrutiny and criticism of Israel’s reaction.
Critics – both at home and abroad – have asked President Biden about his stance after he reiterated his full support for Israel, but Blinken insists that the government wants to ensure an equal peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“It is vital that the Palestinians have hope and opportunity and live in safety, just as they are for Israelis,” Blinken told George Stephanopoulos, host of this week. “And there should be the same measures.”
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“The President has made it very clear that he continues to work for a two-state solution,” added Blinken. “Ultimately, this is the only way to secure the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and of course the only way to give the Palestinians the state to which they are entitled.”
Blinken said a big part of this process would be to ensure that the Palestinian people feel “equally safe, peaceful and dignified”.
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Progressive members of the Democratic Party, however, have spoken out strongly against any support for Israel: Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Passed a resolution on Thursday to force a vote on whether to block arms sales to Israel.
House Democrats, including MPs Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., Mark Pocan, D-Wis., And Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Tabled a similar resolution on Wednesday.
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Blinken instead praised the president’s response and “relentless focus on … calm but effective diplomacy” to reach a ceasefire.
“If you go back and look at previous crises, they lasted a lot longer,” Blinken said. “But of course, every day these things go on, we see tremendous loss in human life and suffering. And we were determined to end this.”
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He also said Biden would consult Congress on “any” arms sales, but the government continued to seek “to give Israel the means to defend itself”.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.