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Antony Blinken in Israel presses Benjamin Netanyahu to provide help to Gaza

In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pushed for increased assistance delivery to Gaza and pleaded with Hamas to agree to a cease-fire agreement that would see some captives released from the enclave.

The top US diplomat is now on his sixth journey to the Middle East, which includes Israel as its last destination. The area was rocked by hostilities on October 7th when Hamas launched an offensive on southern Israel.

Blinken will visit Ashdod port in the south, which has just begun receiving assistance for Gaza, illuminating the trip’s humanitarian theme. He will request that the Israeli government adopt a number of particular actions to make it easier to provide supplies to Gaza, where over half of the population is facing extreme starvation.

Blinken “reiterated the importance of accelerating and sustaining that improvement” during a two and a half-hour discussion with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Israel receives the majority of its armaments and diplomatic backing from the United States. About a month after US President Joe Biden delivered a strong warning that Washington’s policy may change if Israel does not take action to address civilian injury, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of relief workers, Blinken follows up with Netanyahu on assistance. News reports

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