Tel Aviv. Oct 17 (IANS) US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced that President Joe Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday during which the latter will hear from the Jewish nation on “how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimises civilian casualties”.
Blinken, who arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday marking his second trip to the war-torn nation since Hamas launched its unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, announced the visit at the end of an over seven-hour long meeting with the Jewish state’s war cabinet, CNN reported.
During his visit on Wednesday, the President “will hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimises civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza in a way that does not benefit Hamas, the Secretary of State said..
Biden “will reaffirm the US’ solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security”, he added.
“President Biden will again make clear, as he’s done unequivocally since the Hamas slaughter of more than 1,400 people, including at least 30 Americans, that Israel has the right and indeed the duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists and to prevent future attacks,” Blinken said, adding that the President will hear what Israel needs to defend his people as “we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs”.
He “will underscore our crystal clear message to any actor, state or non-state, trying to take advantage of this crisis to attack Israel: Don’t”, CNN quoted the Secretary of State as saying.
He went on to say that Biden “will continue to coordinate closely with our Israeli partners to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas, including men, women, small children, Holocaust survivors, and American citizens”.
“President Biden will receive a comprehensive brief on Israel’s war aims and strategy.”
Besides Israel, Biden will also visit Jordan where he will meet King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to the White House.
Addressing reporters in Washington D.C. late Monday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the focus of Biden’s Jordan stop will be on humanitarian assistance amid the deepening crisis.
Biden “will certainly reiterate that Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination. And he’ll discuss again the humanitarian needs of all civilians in Gaza”, CNN quoted the spokesperson as saying.
In Amman, Biden will “make it clear that we want to continue to work with all our partners in the region, including Israel, to get humanitarian assistance and again to provide some sort of safe passage for civilians to get out”.
The entire trip will take place “over the course of a single day”, Kirby added.