US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held separate phone calls Tuesday with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, during which he called on both sides to “end the cycle of violence” in the region.
During the calls, Blinken discussed the increased tensions in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, including at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
"Secretary Blinken emphasized the importance of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the cycle of violence by refraining from actions and rhetoric that escalate tensions," said Price in a statement.
The secretary of state also reiterated the US’s commitment to improving the quality of life of the Palestinians in "tangible ways" and America’s support for a negotiated two-state solution.
Blinken urged both sides to exercise restraint and refrain from actions that escalate tensions.
Blinken and Lapid also discussed efforts to confront global challenges, including those posed by Iran and its proxies, according to the statement.
"Secretary Blinken reiterated the Administration’s steadfast commitment to Israel’s security and condemned recent rocket attacks from Gaza. He emphasized U.S. support for a negotiated two-state solution and desire to deepen and expand Israel’s relations in the region following the successful Negev Summit," said Price.