U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed at least 25 Americans have been killed in the war between Israel and Hamas, and described gruesome photos and videos he reviewed depicting victims of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israeli civilians.
Blinken, who traveled to Tel Aviv to meet with with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the United States will work with everyone in the region who wants to live in peace. Bliken said at a press conference in Israel: “It’s hard to find the right words. It’s beyond what anyone would ever want to imagine, much less, God forbid, experience. A baby, an infant, riddled with bullets. Soldiers beheaded. Young people burned alive. I could go on, but it’s simply depravity in the worst imaginable way.”
Standing at a podium next to Netanyahu, Blinken said: “Tragically, the number of innocent lives claimed by Hamas’s heinous attacks continues to rise. We joined families in Israel, in the United States, around the world mourning their immeasurable loss.” He added that the United States will “always be there” for the nation as they deal with the ramifications of the attack by Hamas terrorists: “People of Israel have long and rightly prided themselves on their self-reliance, on their ability to defend themselves, even when the odds are stacked against them. The message that I bring to Israel is this: You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself. But as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to. We will always be there by your side.”
Blinken and Netanyahu spoke to alleged war crimes Hamas has committed during its attack on Israel, including the burning of bodies and killing of families after breaking into their homes. Netanyahu said: “Hamas has shown itself to be an enemy of civilization. President Biden was correct in calling this sheer evil. Hamas is ISIS and just as ISIS was crushed, so too will Hamas be crushed. Hamas should be treated exactly the way ISIS was treated. They should be spat out from the community of nations. No leader should meet them. No country should harbor them.”
Blinken went on to say that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people and what they want for their future, adding: “Hamas has only one agenda — to destroy Israel and murder Jews. No country can or would tolerate the slaughter of its citizens.” Blinken said Israel has the right to defend itself to make sure such an attack never happens again, but stressed that every precaution must be made to protect “every innocent life.”
Senior Palestinian Authority officials announced that Blinken is also scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday. CNN reported that Blinken will travel to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to Jordan and Qatar, after he leaves Israel.
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