| 16 July 2024, Tuesday |

As Blinken heads to Israel, US urges nations to use influence to get Hamas to stand down

A senior US official, as reported by AFP, has revealed that the United States is calling upon its international allies to leverage their influence with Hamas and its supporters in Iran. The aim is to persuade the militants to cease their attacks on Israel.
This comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday headed to Israel on a Middle East Mission, showing his nation’s solidarity with the war-torn nation.
Speaking to press during a refuelling stop in Ireland, an official accompanying Blinken said: “Frankly, we’re asking all of our partners to engage with Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran — with any of that trifecta — with whom they have any channels or relations or what have you, to get Hamas to stand down from its attacks, to release those hostages, and to keep Hezbollah out, and to keep Iran out of the fray.”

Blinken in Israel
Blinken as per Reuters is due to meet senior Israeli officials, including the nation’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

US further boosting military support to Israel will feature among the topics of discussion.

Before boarding a plane for Israel, he told reporters: “I’m going with a very simple and clear message … that the United States has Israel’s back.”

A top objective for Blinken during this visit will be to deliver a message, largely directed at Iran and Iran-backed groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah, to stand down and stop an escalation of the conflict.

Also on the agenda is a visit to Jordan and other countries in the region. However, as per Reuters, it seems like a visit to Israel occupied West Bank is not on the cards.

Biden warns Iran
US President Joe Biden has warned Iran against getting involved in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.
Speaking to a roundtable of Jewish community leaders in Washington, the US President stressed that US’ deployment of military ships and aircraft closer to Israel should be seen as a signal.

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