Some Palestinian Americans decline invite to meet Blinken


Some members of the Palestinian American community who received an invite to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declined the invitation over their frustration with Washington's policy towards the conflict in Gaza.

 "A meeting of this nature at this moment in time is insulting and performative," a group of Palestinian American community members said in a statement, adding they represented a majority of those invited.

"They (Blinken and President Joe Biden) show us every day whose lives they value and whose lives they consider disposable. We will not be attending this discussion which can only amount to a box-ticking exercise," the Palestinian American group said on Thursday, adding it saw Washington as complicit in Israeli actions.

The humanitarian crisis has left Gaza on the brink of starvation, with the United Nations calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. The US, however, has opposed the UN move, saying it would let Hamas regroup.

A US State Department spokesperson on Thursday told reporters Blinken met with a "number of leaders" from the Palestinian American community, without specifying how many attended.

Protests demanding a ceasefire in Gaza have recently occurred across the U.S., including near airports and bridges in New York City and Los Angeles, vigils outside the White House and marches in Washington.

Demonstrators have also protested at Biden speeches and campaign events, including in Michigan on Thursday.

Since the conflict in Gaza erupted on October 7, it has seen about 27,000 people, more than 1 per cent of Gaza's 2.3 million population, dead.

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