Blinken arrives in Israel, attempts to pressure Netanyahu to ‘pause’ war

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Israel, meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu in push for expanded humanitarian aid to Gaza, accompanied by ‘pauses’ to ongoing war.

By JNS

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday for his third visit since the start of the war with Hamas.

The top American diplomat met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of the War Cabinet.

At the beginning of their meeting, Netanyahu showed Blinken and his delegation footage of the massacre perpetrated by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Speaking to reporters before departing Washington, Blinken said that he planned to discuss “the ongoing campaign against the Hamas terrorist organization” and “steps that need to be taken to protect civilians” in the Gaza Strip.

Blinken is also expected to discuss “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the long-term strategy for governing the Strip after Hamas is destroyed.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he agrees with a humanitarian pause but is against a ceasefire.

Israel announced the start of “Operation Swords of Iron” on Oct. 7, hours after Hamas terrorists rampaged through western Negev communities, murdering at least 1,400 persons, wounding over 5,000 others and taking over 240 captives back to Gaza.

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Blinken will be working to free the hostages, including American citizens, during his visit.

Accompanying Blinken is the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew, who will assume his post at the American Embassy in Jerusalem. Lew was sworn in on Thursday after being confirmed by the Senate the previous day in a fast-tracked confirmation hearing.

Blinken is also traveling to Jordan, where he will participate in an Arab summit, before heading to Japan, Korea and India, according to the U.S. State Department.