US Secy Blinken arrives in Tel Aviv as Israel prepares for Gaza offensive


Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Photo: PTI)

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Monday, the second time within a few days, to pledge support for the country as it prepares a major military offensive in Gaza, the Washington Post reported.

Blinken who was in Israel on Thursday returned to the country after a tour in which he met with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The visit comes amid reports in Israeli media that during a phone call on Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Biden to Israel, the US daily reported.

In Jerusalem Blinken is scheduled to meet Netanyahu, his war cabinet and President Isaac Herzog. He is then slated to travel back to Tel Aviv, for meetings with Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and opposition leader Yair Lapid, the Washington Post reported.

On Sunday, the Israel Defence Forces chief said that the army will soon enter the Gaza Strip to decimate the Hamas terror group, reported The Times of Israel.

Israel ordered some 1 million Gazans in the northern part of the Gaza enclave to decamp for the southern half after the deadly October 7 attack by Hamas which has resulted in the loss of hundreds of Israeli civilian lives and the capture of more than 100 hostages. Israel swiftly retaliated with airstrikes on Gaza that have killed hundreds of Palestinians.

In an interview with CBS News the US president Joe Biden on Sunday called Hamas a “bunch of cowards” hiding behind civilians. He expressed confidence that Israel would do everything in their power to avoid the killing of innocent civilians.

Biden said that Hamas must be eliminated. However, he stressed that there needs to be a path called the “two-state solution.” Biden said that he thinks Israel understands that a significant portion of Palestinian people do not share the views of Hamas and Hezbollah. He also termed Israel’s occupation of Gaza a “big mistake.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Oct 16 2023 | 4:17 PM IST


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