Blinken in Israel on Mideast tour to shore up Gaza truce

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JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Israel at the start of a Middle East tour aimed at shoring up the Gaza cease-fire. But he will face the same obstacles that have stifled a wider peace process for more than a decade, including a hawkish Israeli leadership, Palestinian divisions and deeply rooted tensions surrounding Jerusalem and its holy sites. The truce that came into effect Friday and halted the 11-day Gaza war has so far held, but it did not address any of the underlying issues. Blinken is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the region since President Joe Biden assumed office.

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