By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—
On the eve of his first official visit to the Middle East, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed support for a two-state solution as the only way to provide hope to Israelis and Palestinians that they can live “with equal measures of security, of peace, and dignity.”
During his visit to Israel and the West Bank, Blinken is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been urging the Biden administration to work toward “achieving a just and lasting peace that would ensure the Palestinian people’s right to freedom and independence” and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
The renewed talk about a “two-state solution” comes amid a significant increase in the popularity of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group whose charter openly calls for replacing Israel with an Islamic state. It also comes at a time when Abbas’s popularity is at its lowest ebb.
In the past few weeks, thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank have been demonstrating in support of Hamas, especially after it fired thousands of rockets and missiles at Israel.
The demonstrators have been chanting slogans praising Hamas and Islamic Jihad (Iran’s Palestinian proxies) for targeting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities during the 11-day battle with Israel. The demonstrators have been raising Hamas flags and posters of its leaders even in areas controlled by Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, including Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinians.
At the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinians have been praising Hamas for firing rockets at Israel and chanting, “We are the men of Mohammed Deif!” Continue Reading….