House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will meet Tuesday with King Abdullah II of Jordan amid tensions between Israel and Palestine before Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Middle East visit Monday.
A Jerusalem synagogue was hit by a terrorist gunman who shot at least seven dead Friday.
Before the violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise trip to Jordan last Tuesday to meet with King Abdullah II for the first time in over four years, seeking to shore up ties that have strained since he took office at the helm of Israel’s government.
The rare meeting between the leaders, who have long had a rocky relationship, centered talks around the status of a contested holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem, sacred to both Jews and Muslims, an emotional issue at the heart of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan’s official statement indicated.
The king also pushed Israel to “stop its acts of violence” that are undermining hopes for an eventual peaceful settlement to the decades long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jordanian government added, reaffirming its support for a two-state solution. Israel’s new coalition has vowed to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and even annex the territory, making a future independent Palestinian state unviable.
Blinken’s three-day trip includes stops in Egypt, Israel, and the West Bank, where he is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“With both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the secretary will underscore the urgent need for the parties to take steps to deescalate tensions in order to put an end to the cycle of violence that has claimed too many innocent lives,” the State Department wrote in a statement.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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