Blinken’s attempt to negotiate “humanitarian pauses” reinforces what was defended by US President Joe Biden. He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously agreed to briefly halt bombings on October 20 to allow for the release of two US citizens, Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter, Natalie Raanan, 17.
In an interview with journalists before the trip, Blinken said discussions will also focus on the future of Gaza. According to him, the objective is to obtain more humanitarian aid, freeing hostages and ensuring that the conflict does not spread.
The top US diplomat reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself. He stated, however, that both the country and the United States have a responsibility to guarantee the protection of civilians who are in danger. “We will talk about concrete steps that can and should be taken to minimize harm to men, women and children in Gaza, and that is something the US is committed to,” Blinken said.
When I see a Palestinian child, a boy or a girl, being pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building, it gives me a knot in my stomach… So this is something we have an obligation to respond to, and we will.
Blinken further stated that the US and other governments are exploring a number of options for the future of Gaza. According to him, this could include international agencies and other countries in the region, but he did not provide further details. “People are very focused on today, not just the day after. But we have to talk now about the best way to establish the conditions for lasting and sustainable peace – lasting and sustainable security for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he said .