Blinken to visit Israel in push for expanded aid to Gaza

US Secretary of State to arrive in Israel Thursday, in bid to extend ceasefire, secure release of additional hostages, and expand aid to Gaza.

By Susan Tawil, World Israel News

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel on Thursday, as part of a diplomatic effort to build on the ongoing ceasefire deal between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization.

This will be Blinken’s third visit to Israel since the October 7th Hamas massacre and abduction of Israel’s civilians from towns bordering the Gaza strip.

He is expected to push Israel to extend its ceasefire in Gaza, in exchange for the release of more Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

An agreement was already made to extend the current ceasefire for another two days, in exchange for the release of 20 more hostages. This extension will end on Thursday, when Secretary Blinken arrives.

Blinken will also call for the “acceleration” of more humanitarian aid sent into Gaza.

Thus far, some 2,000 aid trucks have brought food, water, fuel, and medical equipment into the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, in addition to regular aid trucks, 42 trucks transported 3,600 tons of shelter equipment, such as tents, mattresses, and blankets, to supply Gazans who were evacuated south to safety during the war.

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The Secretary of State reportedly plans to discuss the future of Israel and the Palestinian Authority after the war. He is expected to continue pressing for the two-state-solution.

This mainstay of US diplomacy, with its pre-requisite establishment of an independent Palestinian state, is the strategy envisioned by the Biden administration to settle the ongoing tension in the Middle East. Other US conditions, such as restricting the growth of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, are also likely to be brought up.

Following Blinken’s meeting with Israeli officials, he is scheduled to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, in Ramallah.

The Biden administration believes that the Palestinian Authority is the natural heir to govern Gaza once the war ends and Hamas is subdued.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government do not see this as an acceptable option, as the PA has been a key lynchpin in sustaining the region’s terrorism.

The PA’s notorious “pay to slay” program grants financial support to Palestinians who attack or murder Israelis, with a sliding scale based on the amount of harm achieved.