U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday to brief Israeli officials on his two days of talks with Arab leaders on ending the Gaza conflict, which has created a worsening humanitarian crisis. Blinken is due to meet Israeli leaders on Tuesday in his quest to prevent the conflict from growing into a regional conflagration.
“I will press on the absolute imperative to do more to protect civilians and to do more to make sure that humanitarian assistance is getting into the hands of those who need it,” said Blinken, adding that he would urge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to take action.
The Israeli military has stated that its fight against Hamas would continue all year. However, Israel has come under growing pressure from the United States and Arab leaders to scale back the assault.
In the latest sign that the war may be spreading, Israel killed a top commander of Hamas’ ally Hezbollah in south Lebanon on Monday. Sources familiar with the group’s operations said that Israel is also carrying out an unprecedented wave of deadly strikes in Syria targeting cargo trucks, infrastructure and people involved in Iran’s weapons lifeline to its proxies in the region.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told the Wall Street Journal that his country was determined to end Hamas’ rule of Gaza and deter other Iran-backed adversaries.