In rare — albeit implicit — criticism of Israel, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called out Israeli policies,

including settlement expansion and home demolitions, as detrimental to the two-state solution. Rights advocates have long urged Washington to press Israel to end its abuses against Palestinians.

Still, at a news conference at the end of his trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Tuesday, Blinken reasserted Washington’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel.

“The United States is committed to working toward our enduring goal of ensuring that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security,

opportunity, justice and dignity,” Blinken said, stressing the need for preserving the “vision” of the two-state solution.

“The United States will continue to oppose anything that puts that goal further from reach, including but not limited to settlement expansion and the legalisation of illegal outposts,

moves towards annexation of the West Bank, disruption to the historic status quo on Jerusalem’s holy sites, demolitions and evictions and incitement and acquiescence to violence.”