Inside Story

Why is Antony Blinken back in the Middle East?

The US secretary of state is on his sixth visit to region since Israel started its war on Gaza.

The United States secretary of state has embarked on another diplomatic tour of the Middle East. It is part of a push for a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Washington is under increasing pressure as warnings grow over catastrophic famine in Gaza and a ground invasion in Rafah.

And the talks are happening as the US adopts its strongest language towards Israel yet, submitting a draft resolution to the UN that recognises the need for an “immediate ceasefire” tied to the release of captives held by Hamas.

So what makes this visit any different from the previous five? And is the US’s shift in tone enough to influence Israel and the Netanyahu government?

Presenter: Nick Clark


Marcelle Wahba – President emeritus of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and a former State Department official

Roxane Farmanfarmaian – Specialist in modern Middle East politics

Nour Odeh – Palestinian political analyst and former senior Al Jazeera correspondent