Headline RoundupJanuary 31st, 2023

Blinken Visits Israeli and Palestinian Leaders Amid Heightened Violence

AllSides Summary

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged de-escalation in meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Monday and Tuesday as the region reeled from recent violence.

Latest Developments: Blinken met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, reaffirming his country’s support of Israel but criticizing Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as well as Israel’s “unilateral operations” in the region. On Monday, Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, urging them to work toward a broader consensus on a controversial plan to limit the power of the country’s Supreme Court. In both meetings, Blinken stressed his country’s commitment to a two-state solution.

For Context: On Thursday, Israeli forces raided a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin, killing nine Palestinians — including both militants and a 61-year-old woman. Another Palestinian, 22, was killed in a separate confrontation with Israeli troops. Militants in Gaza fired five rockets on Friday morning, and Israel launched airstrikes targeting a rocket manufacturing site; no casualties were reported. On Friday night, a 21-year-old Palestinian gunman killed seven Israelis as they left a synagogue in East Jerusalem. The next day, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy reportedly shot and injured two Israelis. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage of Blinken’s trip was much less common in right-rated outlets. Al Jazeera’s (Lean Left bias) coverage of the violence stood out by calling East Jerusalem “occupied.” While Al Jazeera only noted the raid site as a “refugee camp,” the Associated Press (Lean Left bias) also described it as a “militant stronghold” largely outside the Palestinian Authority’s control. 

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