Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel “to engage our Israeli partners directly about the situation on the ground,” the US said on Tuesday. “Secretary of State Antony J Blinken will travel to Israel and Jordan October 11-13, 2023, where he will meet with senior officials,” said the US Department of State in a statement.

The Secretary will also “reiterate his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attacks against Israel”. He also condemned those attacks in the strongest terms. “The Secretary will also reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with the government and people of Israel,” the statement said.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that Blinken “looks forward to meeting with senior leaders in the Israeli government and continuing the discussions he and the president have been having with them since the initial attacks on Saturday…”

Blinken will also discuss measures to bolster Israel’s security and underscore the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself, the statement added.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday National Security Adviser of the US, Jake Sullivan said it was unclear how many American citizens were taken hostage.

“We do not know about their condition, and we cannot confirm a precise number of American citizens. We will work hour by hour, both to determine whether we can account for any of those Americans, or to confirm exactly what the number of Americans are being held hostage, and we will come back to you with that information as soon as we have it,” Sullivan said.

“As you know, very sadly and tragically, the number of dead has risen with each passing hour, and that’s true of the total number, it’s also true of Americans, which has gone up just today from an earlier report this morning of 12 and 13 – now 14…,” he added.

US President Joe Biden has also confirmed the death of 14 Americans in Israel adding that there were more US hostages in Israel.

Noting that the US knows that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas, Biden said that he has directed his team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the US government.

He also affirmed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US will continue to make sure Israel has “what it needs” to defend itself and its people.

As many as 900 Israelis have been killed and over 2,616 people were injured after Hamas launched a barbaric ‘surprise attack’ on Israel on October 7.

On the other hand, over 770 Palestinians have also been killed in air raids after Israel launched a strong counter-offensive. The Health Ministry in Gaza said that at least 770 Palestinians have been killed and 4,000 wounded in Israeli air raids. Among the dead are 140 children and 120 women, a ministry spokesperson said.

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