Blinken in Israel
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the West Bank yesterday, meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as the monthlong Israel-Hamas war in the nearby Gaza Strip continues to escalate. The pair reportedly discussed how to maintain stability in the West Bank—a reported 150 residents have been killed in clashes with security forces in recent weeks.
The talks came as a missile strike that killed at least 45 people at a refugee camp, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.
Gaza and the West Bank, home to around 2.3 million and 3 million Palestinians, respectively, are separated by about 30 miles (see map). Abbas' Fatah party administers the Palestinian West Bank and has been in conflict with Hamas since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2006.
Separately, Israeli forces have taken position around Gaza City for what appears to be an imminent, wider-spread ground invasion of the territory. The country has vowed to eliminate Hamas as a political and militant organization—though how to achieve that aim remains unclear.
Around 240 civilians remain held hostage by Hamas, while the collective death toll has risen to over 1,400 Israelis and around 9,500 Palestinians, per officials from each side. See updates on the war here.