The US State Department said on Monday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will go to Israel, the West Bank, and the United Arab Emirates this week. Washington hopes to push for increased humanitarian aid for Gaza and aid in securing the release of all prisoners taken hostage by Hamas.
According to a statement from the department, Blinken will visit North Macedonia, Belgium, Israel, the West Bank, and the United Arab Emirates between Monday and Saturday.
“In Israel and the West Bank, Secretary Blinken will discuss Israel’s right to defend itself consistent with international humanitarian law, as well as continued efforts to secure the release of remaining hostages, protect civilian life during Israel’s operations in Gaza, and accelerate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” the department stated.
According to a State Department official earlier, Blinken will talk about what Washington wants to see in Gaza if Israel succeeds in eliminating Hamas. According to the State Department, Blinken will also speak about the necessity of an independent Palestinian state and go to the UN COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
In retaliation, Israel launched an air campaign over the 2.3 million-person Gaza Strip, a heavily populated coastal enclave, and launched a ground invasion in the north, killing over 15,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials.