Tue. May 21st, 2024

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has shed light on the tragic experiences faced by civilians in the region and the escalating security concerns.

Expressing his anguish, Blinken described the barbaric Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, stating, “I’ve seen a baby, an infant riddled with bullets. Soldiers beheaded. Young people burned alive in their cars or in their highway rooms. It almost defies comprehension.”

He also acknowledged the challenges posed by Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields, emphasizing that civilians are not the target of Israel’s operations in Gaza.

Furthermore, Blinken discussed efforts to address the humanitarian needs of the people living in Gaza while safeguarding them from harm. He explored the possibilities of providing safe passage for civilians who wish to leave Gaza, recognizing the importance of protecting innocent lives.

During his discussions with Israeli leadership, Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend its people and prevent a recurrence of the recent tragic events. He also warned against any attempts by state or non-state actors to exploit the situation.

The US is actively assisting Israel at its request and is committed to providing necessary support for the nation’s security efforts.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog thanked Blinken and the US for their continuous support, emphasizing that the security and defense of the Israeli people are of the highest priority.

Blinken also met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and affirmed the US’ commitment to support Israel, stating, “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself, but as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to. We will always be there by your side.”

The death toll in Israel since the Hamas attack on October 7 has risen to 1,300, with over 3,300 injured. The fate of approximately 150 people abducted and taken to the Gaza Strip during the attack remains uncertain.

Note: This article has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.

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