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Blinken starts Mideast tour as Israel-Palestinian conflict flares

Blinken, seen here at the American University in Cairo, is expected on his trip to reiterate US support for a Palestinian state
— Cairo (AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Sunday in Egypt at the start of a Middle East trip on which he will look to notch down Israeli-Palestinian tensions after an eruption of violence.

Blinken, who will travel Monday and Tuesday to Jerusalem and Ramallah after his stop in Cairo, had long planned the visit to see Israel's new right-wing government, but the trip takes on a new urgency after some of the worst violence in years.

A Palestinian gunman on Friday killed seven people outside a synagogue in a settler neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, and another attack followed on Saturday.

Palestinian demonstrators hurl rocks toward Israeli troops during confrontations with them in the West Bank town of Al-Ram on January 27

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