Tel Aviv US Israel

Israel Will Not Stand Alone: Blinken

Tel Aviv US Israel

Reaffirming its support for Tel Aviv amid the ongoing war on Hamas, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said “as long as the United States stands, Israel will not stand alone.”

Blinken reiterated the commitment during his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and the country’s war cabinet.

Addressing a press conference in Tel Aviv on Friday, the US Secretary of State brought up the brutality of the Hamas onslaught on Israel, as he recalled seeing the footage of a father grabbing his two sons to get them out of harm’s way before terrorists gun him down, The Times of Israel reported.

“Where’s daddy,” he quoted one of the boys as saying.

“They killed daddy,” Blinken quoted the boy’s brother as responding.

To this, the boy asked, “Where’s mommy?”, Blinken shared, according to The Times of Israel.

The US State Secretary revealed that further in the footage, the terrorist responsible for killing the boys’ parents is seen casually eating from the fridge.

Blinken said it is “shocking” that the brutality of the slaughter has “receded” in the memory of so many — “but not in Israel and not in the United States”.

He noted that 33 Americans were killed in the October 7 onslaught along with 220 foreign nationals, according to The Times of Israel.

Blinken said in Friday’s meeting with Israeli officials, he coordinated efforts to not only ensure that the October 7 onslaught doesn’t repeat itself but also build a “different future” — “a strategy that creates a better tomorrow for both peoples and the region”.

He said the steps that the US has taken to prevent the war from escalating include counter-strikes on “Iranian proxies” in Syria.

The US State Secretary confirmed that he spoke about Washington’s desire to see humanitarian pauses amid the Gaza fighting.

He added that legitimate questions were raised in his talks with Israeli officials about how to best use that pause to allow in more aid, secure the release of the hostages and prevent Hamas from using the temporary cessation to its advantage.

Blinken said, “We need to be doing more to protect Palestinian civilians.” He reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself, but “how it does so matters.”

He argued that protecting Palestinians is the “right thing to do” and that failing to do so “plays into the hands of Hamas”.

Blinken said pained as he was to watch how the carnage impacted Israeli children, he felt no different watching Palestinian girls and boys being pulled from the rubble of buildings bombed by Israel, according to The Times of Israel.

“When I see them, when I look into their eyes from the TV screens, I see my own children,” Blinken said, adding, “How can I not?”

The US State Secretary asserted that Hamas doesn’t care about Palestinians and uses them as human shields, placing its infrastructure and fighters in residential buildings, schools mosques hospitals.

Blinken said he discussed with Israel the steps to take amid the ongoing fight with Hamas — “advice only best of friends can offer.”

He said Israeli leaders assured him in meetings on Friday that they would condemn the ongoing wave of settler violence in the West Bank and take actions to curb the phenomenon and hold perpetrators accountable.

“We will be looking closely to ensure that our friends make good on that commitment,” Blinken told reporters in Tel Aviv.

Blinken on Friday landed in Tel Aviv for his third visit since Hamas launched coordinated terror attacks on southern Israel on October 7.

Earlier, on Friday, the US State Secretary called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are meeting for the third time since the outbreak of the war, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv,” read a post on the official X handle of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

Blinken and Netanyahu met privately and then held an expanded meeting together with the War Cabinet.

“At the start of the expanded meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu showed @SecBlinken and his delegation clips of the footage prepared by the IDF Spokesperson which depict the horrors and the massacre perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s office added in its post.

Earlier, on Thursday, Blinken met Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

“Thank you @SecBlinken for your, and @POTUS Biden’s, ongoing and steadfast support for the Israeli people. We appreciate greatly your strong words of moral clarity, the United States’s unanimous support for Israel’s right to self-defence, and the immediate and unconditional return of hostages. Each moment that passes without them is a cause of much pain and a further reflection of the atrocities of Hamas,” the Israeli President posted from his official handle on ‘X’. (ANI)

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