US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is traveling to the Middle East to press Israelis, Palestinians, and regional players to build on last week's Gaza cease-fire by setting the groundwork for a long-stalled peace process to resume.
President Joe Biden confirmed that Blinken would travel to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt on Monday for what will be the Biden administration's highest-level in-person meetings on the crisis that began earlier this month.
The administration had been chastised for its alleged apathy in the face of the deadly terror, with Democratic allies in Congress requesting that it take a harder stance against Israel and react more forcefully to rocket attacks from Palestinian militant groups in Gaza.
The administration has justified its actions by claiming that it engaged in "intense yet quiet" high-level diplomacy in order to support a cease-fire, which was eventually reached last week thanks to Egyptian mediation.
Blinken said on Sunday that President Joe Biden's behind-the-scenes efforts paid off, resulting in an 11-day cease-fire.