Pres. Biden to Travel to Israel Wednesday as American Death Toll Hits 30, US Troops Deploy to Region
Washington TND - October 17, 2023 5:50 am
President Joe Biden speaks Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, about the war between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas, as Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken listen. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON (TND) — Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced in a news conference Monday evening that President Joe Biden will travel to war-torn Israel Wednesday.
Speaking from the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, following meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blinken outlined a specific set of priorities the president hoped to address by putting his boots on the ground in the war-torn Jewish state.
“First, the president will reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel, and our ironclad commitment to its security,” the U.S.’s top diplomat explained during the early working (3:00 a.m. local time) media appearance. “President Biden will again make clear, as he’s done unequivocally since Hamas’ slaughter of more than 1400 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.”
Blinken continued saying Biden also intends to “hear from the people of Israel” to learn on a more first-person basis what Israelis say they need as a potential aid package lethargically works its way through a paralyzed Congress.
The president will further use the moment to continue his recent, frequent warnings to Israel’s adversaries to cease any designs on taking advantage of the crisis to launch an attack.
“Don’t,” Blinken said, repeating the one-word phrase that Biden has sternly and seriously conjured in his cautions to potential bad actors. Along those lines, the Secretary of State affirmed that Biden would engage more directly with Israeli partner to work towards the safe release and return of the over 200 (Hamas counts put it as high as 250) hostages taken by Hamas terrorists in their swift invasion of the Jewish state on Oct. 7.
The appearance in Israel also marks an attempt for commander-in-chief to gain a better on-the-ground sense of Israel’s military plans, especially concerning the ability to open up corridors in the Gaza Strip to allow Palestinians access to desparately needed, critical humanitarian aid.