Latest News 12-10-2023 12:06 11 Views

Secretary of State Blinken arrives in Israel in show of solidarity following Hamas terrorist attacks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel Thursday morning as a show of support for the longtime ally following Hamas' terrorist attacks on the country on Saturday.

Blinken was greeted by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and other officials after departing the plane at the Ben Gurion Airport in Lod, which is on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Deputy Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Steve Gillen also traveled to Israel with Blinken to prioritize the mission to urge Hamas to release all hostages immediately.

Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and other senior Israeli officials, and will 'reiterate his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attacks against Israel and condemn those attacks in the strongest terms,' a statement from his office said Tuesday. He is also expected to meet with the team at the US embassy in Jerusalem.

According to the Secretary of State website, Blinken is scheduled to travel to Jordan before his scheduled departure on Friday, Oct. 13.

Prior to his departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday, Blinken denounced the terrorism displayed by Hamas and reiterated America's plans to 'ensure Israel gets everything it needs to defend itself and provide for the security of its people.'

'We stand resolutely against terrorism. We’ve seen the almost indescribable acts committed by Hamas against Israeli men, women, and children,' Blinken told reporters. 'Every day we’re learning more, and it is simply heartbreaking.  Not since ISIS have we seen this kind of depravity, and we will continue to stand very resolutely against it.'

Israel has launched a counteroffensive and bombarded the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, with airstrikes in what many believe will precede a ground operation.

In addition to military aid, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Sunday that the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group was moving to the Mediterranean to reinforce deterrence in the region. 

Fox News Digital's Louis Casiano contributed to this report.


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