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Netanyahu and Israeli war cabinet meet with Secretary Blinken in Jerusalem to discuss next phase of Gaza war

Blinken reiterates US concern for minimizing civilian impact of war with Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Nov. 30, 2023 (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the members of the War Cabinet met today with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. 

Netanyahu thanked Blinken for America's support of Israel during the conflict and with the hostage release deal. 

“I want to express our appreciation for your support from the beginning: the President, you personally, the delegation, in the war of eliminating Hamas and releasing, securing the release of our hostages. You've been very, very helpful. We appreciate it deeply.” 

Blinken reportedly stressed the U.S. concern that Israel ensure the safety of Palestinians in southern Gaza and an ample supply of humanitarian aid to the civilians after it resumes the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

The U.S. state secretary urged the war cabinet to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties in combat operations. However, he stressed that the U.S. reaffirms Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism. 

U.S. President Joe Biden recently expressed his opinion that the Palestinian Authority (PA) resume control of the Gaza Strip after Israel eliminates Hamas. 

Blinken is expected to travel to Ramallah for discussions with PA leaders regarding Gaza’s future before leaving for the United Nation’s COP28 UAE climate change summit in Dubai. 

Netanyahu said that during his private meeting with Blinken, he told the U.S. diplomat: “We have sworn, and I have sworn, to destroy Hamas. Nothing will stop us.” 

Netanyahu and Blinken held a press briefing following their private meeting and thanked Blinken for demonstrating his support with his repeated visits to Israel since the start of the war. 

“Tony, thank you for your important visit here today. Thank you, thank President Biden, and thank you to the American people for your incredible support for Israel in our war against the barbarians of Hamas,” Netanyahu said in English as the briefing opened. 

He also addressed remarks to Blinken on behalf of the people of Israel in Hebrew, saying, “You come to a hurting people, a fighting people, a people of lions, a people determined to defeat the forces of evil around us. From hour to hour, we hear horror stories and stories of courage.” 

“Just as ISIS was crushed, Hamas too will be crushed,” Netanyahu stated. 

Blinken started his remarks with a personal statement, recounting how his grandfather fled pogroms in Russia, and how his stepfather survived the concentration camps in Europe. 

"So, Prime Minister, I understand on a personal level the harrowing echoes that Hamas’ massacres carry for Israeli Jews, and indeed for Jews everywhere,” Blinken said.

He said “as a husband and father,” it is impossible to see the stories of the murdered Israeli families and not think of his own family. 

“This was just one of Hamas’ countless acts of terror in a litany of brutality and inhumanity that brings to mind the worst of ISIS,” Blinken stated. 

The U.S. state secretary also shared said that while the stories of horror were shocking for the American people to hear, the stories of bravery by everyday Israelis were inspiring. 

Israelis have long prided themselves “on their self-reliance, on their ability to defend themselves even when the odds are stacked against them,” Blinken said, and directed his message of solidarity with the Israeli public.

“The message that I bring to Israel is this: You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself, but as long as America exists, you won’t have to.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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