Tel Aviv, Israel:
US President Joe Biden will pay a solidarity visit to Israel on Wednesday following the Hamas attacks, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced, as he also said Israel and Washington had agreed to develop a plan for aid to Gaza.
Blinken spoke after meeting for nearly eight hours at the defence ministry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the top US diplomat’s second visit since the October 7 attacks by Hamas.
On Wednesday, I’ll travel to Israel to stand in solidarity in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack.
I’ll then travel to Jordan to address dire humanitarian needs, meet with leaders, and make clear that Hamas does not stand for Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 17, 2023
“The president will reaffirm United States solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security,” Blinken said early Tuesday in Tel Aviv.
On Wednesday, @POTUS will visit Israel. He’s coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region, and for the world.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) October 17, 2023
“Israel has the right and indeed the duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists and to prevent future attacks,” Blinken said.
Biden “will hear from Israel what it needs to defend his people as we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs,” he said.
Blinken said that the United States also secured assurances from Israel on working to bring foreign assistance into the impoverished and blockaded Gaza Strip as Israel prepares a ground offensive against the Hamas-ruled territory.
Biden hopes to “hear from Israel how it will conduct its operations in a way that minimises civilian casualties and enables humanitarian assistance to flow to civilians in Gaza in a way that does not benefit Hama,” Blinken said.
“At our request, the United States and Israel have agreed to develop a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organizations to reach civilians in Gaza,” Blinken said.
He said the two sides were discussing the “possibility of creating areas to help keep civilians out of harm’s way.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)