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Blinken to visit Israel on Thursday as Palestine-Israel conflict toll tops 1,800

Blinken's visit comes in the wake of an unprecedented attack by Hamas, which claimed the lives of over 1,000 Israelis over the weekend

By Web Desk
October 11, 2023
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference with Mexico´s Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena (not in frame) after a meeting, at the National Palace in Mexico City, on October 5, 2023. AFP/File
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint press conference with Mexico´s Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena (not in frame) after a meeting, at the National Palace in Mexico City, on October 5, 2023. AFP/File 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to embark on a solidarity visit to Israel in the coming days to engage with senior Israeli leaders amidst the ongoing conflict in the region, according to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. 

Blinken's visit comes in the wake of an unprecedented attack by Hamas, which claimed the lives of over 1,000 Israelis over the weekend.

Miller conveyed that Blinken's visit serves as a message of solidarity and support for Israel. 

During his stay, Blinken aims to directly hear from Israeli leaders about their current situation, requirements, and the most effective means of support, said Miller.

While the details of Blinken's visit are still being arranged, the trip underscores the unwavering support of the United States for Israel. 

President Biden has consistently reaffirmed this commitment, condemning the "abhorrent" attacks on Israel by Hamas. Biden expressed the US's resolute stance, emphasising that the nation stands firmly with Israel in these trying times.

The President also asserted that the United States will provide Israel with all necessary resources to safeguard its citizens, defend its borders, and respond to the attacks. He stressed that terrorism can never be justified or excused.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted when Hamas launched a multi-pronged attack on Israel, infiltrating multiple Israeli towns through land, sea, and air. Israel swiftly responded with a counteroffensive, involving airstrikes on Gaza since Saturday. Regrettably, the violence has taken a heavy toll, with at least 830 Palestinian casualties in Gaza and the West Bank, as reported by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

President Biden further confirmed that the number of Americans killed in the attacks has risen to 14. Reports indicate that Hamas has taken over 150 hostages, including several Americans. 

National security adviser Jake Sullivan conveyed that the US believes there are 20 or more missing Americans, although not all of them are necessarily held as hostages.

The Biden administration has been actively engaged since the onset of the crisis, with daily meetings of the national security team. Military assets have been repositioned in the region to assist Israel, including the provision of munitions and interceptors for Israel's Iron Dome.

Additionally, a US carrier strike group, featuring the USS Gerald R. Ford, the most advanced aircraft carrier in the US Navy, along with missile cruisers and destroyers, has been deployed closer to the eastern Mediterranean to bolster regional deterrence efforts.

The death toll in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has now reached 1,800, with approximately 1,000 Israelis and 830 Palestinians reported as casualties. The humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip continues to worsen, with displaced Palestinians and escalating hostilities exacerbating the situation.