Blinken: Israel has right to defend itself

Blinken: Israel has right to defend itself
# 03 November 2023 19:50 (UTC +04:00)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that Israel has right to defend itself but also called for the protection of civilians, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

"We insist that Israel not only has the right but also the duty to defend itself, and to do what is possible to prevent (attacks like) the attack on Oct. 7,” he said during a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv, referring to the Hamas attack on Israel that set off the current conflict.

"It is critically important that when it comes to protecting civilians, everything must be done to ensure their safety,” he added, as quoted by Israeli media.

Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv on Friday, marking his third visit to Israel since the start of the conflict.

He later met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, as reported by the Prime Minister's office.

Despite its being Israel’s most steadfast ally, the US might be feeling the heat from worldwide protests against weeks of Israeli attacks on Gaza, leaving thousands of Palestinians dead, including many women and children.

Blinken’s nod towards the need to protect civilians may be meant to address that, although critics might see it as more of a half-measure than a real attempt to halt the mounting death toll in Gaza.

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