Blinken to visit Israel to meet with officials in show of support after Hamas attack

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel Wednesday to express solidarity in a show of support for the country as it continues to battle Hamas terrorist fighters. 

Blinken will meet with senior Israeli officials and ‘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. 

‘ The Secretary will also reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with the government and people of Israel,’ the statement said. ‘ He will also discuss measures to bolster Israel’s security and underscore the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself.’

Blinken wrote on social media that he, ‘engage with our Israeli partners directly about the situation on the ground and to discuss ways we can continue to support them in the fight against these terrorist attacks.’

‘Our support for Israel remains unwavering,’ he said. 

Earlier in the day in an address to the nation, President Biden condemned the ‘abhorrent’ attacks by Hamas and pledged to support Israel.

‘We must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel. We stand with Israel. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack,’ Biden said from the White House. 

More than 1,000 Israelis have been killed since Saturday, when Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack by land, sea and air in southern Israel. Hamas also captured dozens of hostages and killed hundreds of civilians, including children. 

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 Eastern Mediterranean was moving to the Mediterranean to reinforce deterrence in the region. 

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