US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday for discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. This is Blinken’s third visit to the Jewish state since Israel’s war against the Hamas terror organization began on Oct 7.
The Biden administration has condemned the Hamas massacre of Israeli civilians and backed Israel’s right to self-defense. However, Washington has increasingly expressed concerns regarding the rising number of civilian casualties in the densely populated Gaza Strip.
Ahead of his visit, Blinken stressed the importance to protect civilian lives amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.
“On my way to Tel Aviv for more diplomacy during an incredibly challenging time. We will continue to work with regional leaders to protect civilians and prevent the spread of conflict,” the U.S. Secretary of State said prior to his departure.
Blinken later tweeted the need to combine Israel’s right to self-defense with humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
“Returned to Israel for meetings with @IsraeliPM Netanyahu, President @Isaac Herzog and other government leaders. Will discuss Israel’s right to defend itself and our work to get humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.”
Israel is reportedly continuing to resist international pressure to permit the delivery of fuel into Gaza out of concern that it would likely end up in the hands of the terror organization Hamas.
Fuel is critical for the terror organization’s ability to continue its war against the Jewish state. Just yesterday, the IDF intercepted a phone call where Hamas terrorists admitted to stealing the fuel intended for Gaza’s civilian population.
Netanyahu and Blinken are expected to make public announcements later today.
The Biden administration appears to share Israel’s view that Hamas constitutes a threat to regional stability, and must be neutralized and removed from power in Gaza. ‘
At the same time, Washington has pressured Israel to begin preparing for a post-Hamas political solution in Gaza.
U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Blinken would emphasize “the US commitment to working with partners to set the conditions for a durable and sustainable peace in the Middle East to include the establishment of a Palestinian state that reflects the aspirations of the Palestinian people in Gaza and in the West Bank,” Miller told the media ahead of Blinken’s visit to Israel.
The Biden administration is under increasing domestic and international pressure to force a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
Unnamed senior Biden administration officials told CNN that Israel has limited time before Washington’s support erodes, due to widespread calls for a ceasefire.
“The problem for [Israel] is that the criticism is getting louder, not just among their detractors, but from their best friends,” an unnamed senior Biden administration official warned.
While much of the international focus is on the battles in Gaza, there are growing concerns that the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah will open a full-scale second front against Israel in the north.
Hezbollah is much more powerful than Hamas and is believed to have at least 150.000 rockets that can reach any point inside Israel.
Speaking to Fox News, ALL ISRAEL NEWS founder and Editor-in-Chief Joel C. Rosenberg warned that Hezbollah leader Nasrallah could potentially unleash an apocalyptic war if he decides to attack Israel.
“Nasrallah has 150,000 missiles aimed at our heads,” Rosenberg warned. “If he starts to really declare full on war, this thing is going to go apocalyptic.”
The Hezbollah chief is schedule to make a speech today where he expected to reveal the direction the Iranian-backed terror organization Hezbollah intends to take in the conflict with Israel.