DE Online Desk
AMMAN: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to press Israels Arab neighbors on Sunday to take a future role in running Gaza as he tries to quell regional tensions amid Israels offensive against Palestinian Hamas militants in the strip.
Blinkens visit comes after a drone strike in Beirut killed a senior Hamas leader, Israel exchanged fire with Iran-backed militia Hezbollah across its northern border with Lebanon, and Washington tries to rally allies to deter attacks on Red Sea shipping by Houthi militants who control most of Yemen.
Blinken arrived in Jordan late on Saturday and met King Abdullah on Sunday before he was set to visit Qatar and end the day in the United Arab Emirates, reports Reuters.
King Abdullah told Blinken that Washington had a major role to play in pressuring Israel into an immediate ceasefire, and warned of the “catastrophic repercussions” of the continuation of the war, which began when Hamas attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostage.
Israels subsequent air and ground assault had killed 22,722 Palestinians by Saturday, according to Palestinian health officials, and has turned much of Gaza to rubble and left its 2.3 million residents on the verge of starvation, according to aid workers.