Make “hard choices” to normalise relations with neighbours, Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israel to make “hard choices” with its neighbours towards a path that would see the creation of a Palestinian state.

He also called upon Israel to support Palestinian leaders who are willing to live peacefully alongside one another, reported Reuters.

It was also vital that Israel achieve its objective of eradicating the threat from Hamas, he said at the end of a day of talks in Tel Aviv.

Blinken stressed “the importance of avoiding further civilian harm and protecting civilian infrastructure in Gaza”, a State Department spokesperson said.

At a press conference he also admitted that the civilian war toll in Gaza was too high.

On the same note, he dismissed South Africa’s accusations that Israel was committing genocide as “meritless”.