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US Secretary Of State Blinken Meets Israeli PM Netanyahu For Third Time Since Breakout Of Israel-Hamas War

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Tel Aviv: US State Secretary Antony Blinken on Friday met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the third time since Israel declared war on the terrorist organisation Hamas.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are meeting for the third time since the outbreak of the war, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv,” read a post on the official X handle of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

Blinken and Netanyahu met privately before holding an extended meeting together with the War Cabinet.

“At the start of the expanded meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu showed @SecBlinken and his delegation clips of the footage prepared by the IDF Spokesperson which depict the horrors and the massacre perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office posted from its X handle.

Blinken on Thursday also met Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

“Thank you @SecBlinken for your, and @POTUS Biden’s, ongoing and steadfast support for the Israeli people. We appreciate greatly your strong words of moral clarity, the United States’s unanimous support for Israel’s right to self-defence, and the immediate and unconditional return of hostages. Each moment that passes without them is a cause of much pain and a further reflection of the atrocities of Hamas,” the Israeli President posted from his X handle.

Blinken on Friday landed in Tel Aviv for his third visit since Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7.

In Israel, Blinken will reiterate US support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism consistent with international humanitarian law and discuss efforts to safeguard US citizens in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, the US Department of State said in a statement.

Blinken will also work to secure the immediate release of hostages, increase the pace and volume of humanitarian assistance entering Gaza for distribution to Palestinian civilians, and prevent the conflict from spreading, according to the statement.

Prior to departing for his visit to five nations in the Middle East and Asia, Blinken reiterated US support for Israel in the ongoing conflict with Hamas. He said that while Israel has the right to defend itself. However, as a democracy, there is the responsibility to protect civilians.

Speaking to reporters, Blinken said, “Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself and to try to make sure what happened never happens again. No country would tolerate the slaughter of their civilians. We stand behind that but as democracies, the US, and Israel have responsibilities to protect civilians who are caught in harm’s way.”

Blinken stated that Hamas deliberately uses civilians as human shields and puts weaponry underneath schools and hospitals, making the task “incredibly challenging” but one has to rise to that responsibility.

“Hamas cynically, monstrously and deliberately using men, women and children as human shields. Hamas puts their fighters, weapons, and ammunition underneath hospitals, schools and mosques,” Blinken said. (ANI)

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