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UK's Raab in Mideast to consolidate Gaza truce

Israeli air strikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people from May 10, the health ministry in Gaza says

AFP , Wednesday 26 May 2021
Raab
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gives a thumbs up as he is arrival to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. AP
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Britain's top diplomat met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah on Wednesday, calling for truce in Gaza Strip to be respected.

Dominic Raab's whirlwind one-day trip followed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit, who was also in the region to shore up the Egypt-brokered ceasefire that on Friday ended 11 days of Israel's military campaign Gaza.

At a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Raab stressed "the importance of a durable ceasefire in Gaza & the need to fight anti-Semitism," he said on Twitter.

"The UK is committed to working with regional leaders to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict & forge lasting peace," the foreign secretary wrote.

Netanyahu thanked Raab for Britain's "staunch, unwavering support of our right to self-defence during the recent operation," in remarks relayed by the Israeli leader's office.

In Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority's government in the occupied West Bank, Raab met with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and his counterpart Riad al-Malki, discussing "the need for all sides to respect the ceasefire".

Israeli air strikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people from May 10, the health ministry in Gaza says.

Rocket and other fire from Gaza claimed 12 lives in Israel, medics say. Some 357 people in Israel were wounded.

Raab also "reaffirmed UK support for a two-state solution as the only way to bring sustainable peace," he tweeted.

In Jerusalem on Tuesday, Blinken -- currently in Jordan on the last leg of his Mideast visit -- said Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side was "the only way" forward.

However, peace talks have stalled since 2014, including over the status of east Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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