US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Saudi Arabia on Monday before heading to Israel, aligning other Western diplomats to ease the Israel-Hamas conflict and channel vital aid to Gazans.

On his fourth regional trip since the war began, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due in Saudi Arabia after talks earlier Monday in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

He will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the desert city of Al-Ula, a US official said on condition of anonymity. Early in the war, Riyadh announced it had suspended talks with Israel on normalizing ties.

Blinken’s visit comes alongside that of other top Western diplomats trying to stop the conflict from spreading and to boost desperately needed aid to Gazans.

In Qatar on Sunday, Blinken warned that the violence could “easily metastasize” into a regional conflict.

Blinken is expected in Israel this evening for what are likely to be tense talks on Tuesday, before visiting the occupied West Bank and Egypt on Wednesday.

He is also looking at how each country can contribute in the post-war period, whether in terms of reconstruction or governance in Gaza.

Most of Gaza’s population has been displaced, according to the United Nations, leaving them in overcrowded shelters or tents in the winter chill.

The World Health Organization has warned of the risk of famine and disease, with only minimal aid entering as people struggle to find water and other necessities.

Washington has said Blinken will press Israel on its compliance with international humanitarian law and ask for “immediate measures” to boost aid to Gaza.

Katrine Dige Houmøller, with AFP