The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reiterated that Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, as it continues to pummel the Gaza Strip with an air and ground assault.
Blinken asserted this on Friday during his third trip to Israel since October 7, to discuss “concrete steps” to minimize harm to Gaza civilians even as Washington, DC, resists a ceasefire call.
According to the United States Secretary, “Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself… to make sure that this October 7 never happens again,” He told journalists as he met Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv.
Israel launched a massive retaliatory assault against Gaza’s Hamas rulers after its fighters carried out the October 7 attack which Israeli officials say killed 1,400 people.
Consequently, more than 9,200 people have been killed in Gaza, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said.
Soon after Blinken’s arrival, he held separate meetings with Herzog and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Blinken, who is on his second tour to the Middle East since the war erupted, urged Israel to protect civilians who are caught in the crossfire and to “bring assistance to those who so desperately need it”. (AFP)
Recall that Israel had proceeded with deadly air attacks on Gaza early on Friday, even as the number of people killed in the Palestinian enclave rose to at least 9,061. More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel. 19 soldiers have also been killed since the beginning of the ground invasion.
“We’re determined to prevent escalation, to prevent the spread of this conflict, and we’re taking necessary steps to try to make sure that that happens.” – Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in remarks to the press before departing for Israel and Jordan.
According to the Palestinian news agency, Wafa, several people killed and wounded arrived at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, following the latest Israeli air strikes that targeted three areas in the northern part of the besieged enclave.