Blinken to travel to Israel, Middle East capitals for diplomatic talks

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will depart on Thursday for the Middle East, including a stop in Israel, as the United States continues diplomatic consultations on the Israel-Gaza conflict, a senior US official said on Wednesday.

The official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said US diplomatic envoy Amos Hochstein will also travel to Israel to work to soothe tensions between Israel and Hezbollah.

Blinken leaves Thursday night “for stops in a number of capitals, including Israel,” the official said. The official provided no further details.

US President Joe Biden spoke by phone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days as he works to improve access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and gain the release of hostages held by Hamas.

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