US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a press conference in Jerusalem Tuesday in which he summed up his visit to the Middle East, which included meetings with Egyptian, Israeli, and Palestinian Authority leaders.
Blinken again condemned the Neve Yaakov synagogue massacre in which seven Jews were murdered on Friday night, as well as the shooting of a Jewish father and son by the City of David on Saturday.
He compared the casualties Israel and the Palestinian Authority have sustained the last month saying that "both sides" had lost "many lives," despite the fact that all seven Israelis who were murdered last week were civilians and the fact that the vast majority of Arab casualties have been terrorists or combatants.
According to the Secretary of State, he heard "constructive ideas" to reduce tensions in the region in light of recent deadly incidents, and he would leave some members of his team in the Middle East to continue discussions on those matters.
He further stated that the Biden Administration "opposes anything that puts a two-state solution farther from reach, including settlement expansion, demolitions, evictions, and disturbing the status quo on the Temple Mount." He also included incitement to violence as something the administration opposes.
Addressing his meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas earlier Tuesday, Blinken said: "We are focused on what the PA is doing to defuse the current cycle of violence. If that succeeds, we can look to both sides to rebuild trust."
When asked about the controversy surrounding the proposed judicial reforms of the current Israeli government, he replied: "Our relations with Israelis are based on shared interests and shared values, I spoke about these values last night. Israel has a very lively civil society. Regarding the reforms - there is a lively discourse in Israel and this discourse is the healthy part of democracy."