US Secretary of State Blinken lands in Israel and calls for 'steps to calm tensions'
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel on Monday and urged both Israelis and Palestinians to take steps to ease a recent spike in tension.
"It is the responsibility of everyone to take steps to calm tensions rather than inflame them," Blinken said.
The US Secretary of State arrived in Egypt first to begin his three-day visit to the Middle East.
On Monday, he is set to travel to Jerusalem to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and then he will head to Ramallah to hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The visit comes amid a surge in violence in Israel and the occupied territories.
A Palestinian gunman on Friday killed seven people outside a synagogue in a settler neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, and another attack followed on Saturday.
This followed an Israeli military raid on Thursday where nine people were killed in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, one of the deadliest such operations in years.
Blinken's trip is widely seen as an effort by Washington to engage quickly with Netanyahu, who returned to power in December at the forefront of Israel's most right-wing coalition in history.