US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel to urge the implementation of a humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip. Photo/The Times of Israel
TEL AVIV – United States (US) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antony Blinken, landed in Tel Aviv, Friday (3/11/2023). The arrival of the top US diplomat was not to push for a ceasefire as advocated by the international community and the UN but a humanitarian pause in the war in the Gaza Strip.
Blinken, making his second trip to Israel in a month, is scheduled to discuss with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders concrete steps to minimize harm to civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip, where food, fuel, water and rare medicines.
Meanwhile, the White House said that any lull in fighting should be temporary and local. The White House also emphasized that the pause would not stop Israel from defending itself.
“When I see a Palestinian child – boy, girl – being pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building, it shocks me as much as seeing a child from Israel or anywhere else,” Blinken told reporters before leaving for Israel.
“So this is something we are obliged to respond to, and we will do it,” he added as quoted by Reuters.
The newly appointed US Ambassador to Israel, Jacob Lew, will travel with Blinken to Tel Aviv.
Gaza health authorities say at least 9,061 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its offensive on the enclave of 2.3 million people. The attack was in retaliation for deadly attacks carried out by Hamas militants in southern Israel.
Israel says Hamas killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 240 hostages in attacks on Oct. 7, the deadliest day in Hamas’ 75-year history.