Israel-Hamas war, Gaza Crisis, Blinken visit

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in West Bank on November 5. Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Reuters

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for an “immediate cessation of the destructive war,” in comments made during a meeting Sunday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Abbas also stressed the need for “the swift provision of humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies, food, water, electricity, and fuel to the Gaza Strip,” WAFA reported.

Blinken met with Abbas in Ramallah, amid escalating settler violence in the West Bank following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

“We meet once again in extremely difficult circumstances, and there are no words to describe the genocide and destruction that our Palestinian people in Gaza are enduring at the hands of the Israeli war machine, without regard for international law,” Abbas told Blinken, per WAFA. 

The two met twice in Jordan during Blinken’s trip to the region last month, in the wake of the Hamas attack.

According to WAFA’s account of the meeting, Abbas “questioned how one can remain silent about the killing of ten thousand Palestinians, including four thousand children, and tens of thousands of wounded, along with the destruction of peaceful units, infrastructure, hospitals, shelters, and water tanks.”

He also warned against the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem, and strongly rejected such actions.

The escalating settler violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem is “no less heinous, with killings and assaults on land, people, and holy sites by the Israeli occupation forces and extremist settlers, who are committing crimes of ethnic cleansing, racial discrimination, and embezzlement of Palestinian people’s funds,” Abbas told Blinken.

At least 150 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health – a number nearing the total number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank in all of 2022.

Abbas said Israel was “fully responsible for what is happening,” adding that “military and security solutions will not bring security to Israel.” “Stop them from committing these crimes immediately,” the PA president asked the US secretary of state.

Abbas emphasized that security and peace “can be achieved by ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 borders.”

He also asserted that “Gaza is an integral part of the State of Palestine, and they will bear full responsibilities within the framework of a comprehensive political solution for both the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.”

Abbas denied Hamas’s legitimacy to represent the Palestinian people, telling Blinken the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is “the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people.”