President Biden heading to Israel Wednesday as conflict with Hamas rages on with both


Joe Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday, the Secretary of State announced on Monday night. 

Antony Blinken made the announcement after six hours of talks with Israeli officials.

It will be Biden’s second visit to an active war zone this year. In February, he traveled to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and mark the anniversary of the conflict.

Blinken said Biden will be given a security briefing from Israel and discuss efforts to secure the release of hostage, including Americans.

‘He’s coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region, and for the world,’ said Blinken.

‘And he’s coming here to do the following.

‘First, the president will reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel, and our iron-clad commitment to its security.

‘President Biden will again make clear – as he has done unequivocally since Hamas’s slaughter of more than 1,400 people, including at least 30 Americans – that Israel has the right and indeed the duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists, and to prevent future attacks.

‘The president will hear from Israel what it needs to defend its people, as we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs.

‘Second: President Biden will underscore a crystal clear message to any actor – state or non-state – trying to take advantage of this crisis to attack Israel: Don’t.’

Biden will then travel to Jordan, to meet the most important Arab leaders involved – King Abdullah of Jordan, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt, and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestine.

Abbas has repeatedly insisted that Hamas does not represent the people of Palestine.

Blinken said that his six hours of talks with Israel had secured agreements for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, and included discussions of safe zones for Gazans.

John Kirby, the spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a call with journalists that Biden’s visit to the region was to hear from all sides what they need, and ‘glean whatever additional information there might be out there’.

Kirby said rescuing the hostages remained a top priority, stressing they wanted to ‘get Americans back at home and with their families, where they belong.’

‘He will have a chance to discuss the idea the issue of humanitarian assistance, and making sure that we’re all working together,’ said Kirby, adding that they were working on mechanisms to ensure the aid went to the Palestinian people and not Hamas.

Kirby said they were also working to secure ways for those trapped in Gaza to leave – in particular American citizens. 

Earlier on Monday, Blinken experienced the tense security situation in Israel firsthand while meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when the two had to briefly retreat to a security bunker when air raid sirens went off.

It was the nation’s top diplomat’s second trip to Israel within days as the U.S. ally prepares for a possible ground invasion of Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks. 

His Monday trip was twice punctuated by air raid sirens, amid continued Hamas rocket attacks. 

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed the security precaution. 

‘During the Secretary’s meeting with PM Netanyahu and the war cabinet, the air raid sirens went off and they sheltered in bunker for five minutes,’ he said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks at The Kirya, Israel's Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, Israel October 16, 2023. Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to retreat to a bomb shelter during his visit

Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks at The Kirya, Israel’s Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, Israel October 16, 2023. Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to retreat to a bomb shelter during his visit

Other officials also had to find shelter in stairways and secure areas until they got the all clear. 

Israel’s Iron Dome defenses were activated while Blinken was en route to Israel’s ministry of defense for meeting.

It came on a day when Blinken met with the new war cabinet of Israel’s new unity government. That included minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, who met with Blinken a the Kirya, which houses the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.

The precautions came amid reports that President Biden was himself strongly considering a trip to Israel, which is massing more than 300,000 reservists along the border with Gaza.

The U.S. on Friday dispatched a second aircraft carrier group, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, to the region, and has been positioning an air armada in the region along with additional forces to advice Israel or provide medical assets as needed.

Blinken's meeting with Netanyahu came days after his October 12 visit, which also included meetings throughout the region

Blinken’s meeting with Netanyahu came days after his October 12 visit, which also included meetings throughout the region

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Netanyahu Oct. 13th, in another show of U.S. support for Israel

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Netanyahu Oct. 13th, in another show of U.S. support for Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken had an emotional encounter with a 24-year-old Israeli woman who recounted the horrors of the Israeli music festival where Hamas militants gunned down attendees. She pleaded for help bringing her kidnapped friends home from captivity

On his earlier Oct. 12 trip, Blinken had an emotional encounter with a  24-year-old Israeli woman recounted the horrors of the Hamas attack on an Israeli music festival. She pleaded with Blinken to help free her friends who have been taken captive.

Blinken met the woman while touring a donation center.

The trip came five days after Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, launched an onslaught against Israel killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 150 hostages.

Blinken spoke with a young woman who was at a desert music rave attacked by the terrorists.

She told him: ‘We lost a lot of our friends, close friends, lots of family members. There are a lot of people that we know that are kidnapped and now in Gaza. We went through horror, really.

‘I’m just like – I’m 24. And I never imaged something like this would happen ever in a dance, at a music festival. We celebrated love and we danced,’ she said.

‘I admire your strength and also telling your story makes a big difference, too. The world needs to hear this,’ Blinken told her. 



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