Blinken begins Middle East mission to bolster Gaza ceasefire

U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken kicked off his Middle East visit on Tuesday first stop on the list was Israel.

He hopes to bolster a ceasefire reached after the heaviest Israeli-Palestinian fighting in years.

Blinken's agenda included talks with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah later on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities said they were allowing fuel, medicine and food earmarked for Gaza's private sector to enter the territory, for the first time since 11 days of cross-border hostilities started on May 10.

Blinken was also due to visit the city of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, as well as Cairo and Jordan's capital Amman.

A U.S State Department official said the focus was on maintaining the ceasefire and suggested that it was too soon to discuss wider peace talks.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said a two-state solution was the only answer to resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and pledged a major package with other countries to help rebuild Gaza.

In the recent fighting, at least 253 people were killed in Gaza and nearly 2000 wounded, health authorities said.

The Israeli military put the death toll in Israel at 13, and hundreds treated for injuries.