US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hear demands for an immediate ceasefire and urgent delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip when he meets Arab Ministers, The Times of Israel reported, citing Jordanian statement. According to Jordan’s foreign ministry, the ministers will also “discuss the repercussions [of the war] and ways to end this dangerous deterioration that threatens the security of the entire region.”
Jordan Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi’s office announced that it will host a summit for Arab foreign ministers on Saturday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, according to The Times of Israel reported. Foreign ministers from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt along with the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee Hussein al-Sheikh will participate in the summit. Jordanian Foreign Ministry has said that the aim of the summit is to “stop the Israeli war on Gaza and the humanitarian disaster that it is causing.”
After concluding his visit to Israel, Blinken will head to Jordan. Blinken on Friday reaffirmed the US’ support for Israel during his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and the country’s war cabinet. While addressing a press conference in Tel Aviv on Friday, the US Secretary of State brought up the brutality of the Hamas onslaught on Israel, as he recalled seeing the footage of a father grabbing his two sons to get them out of harm’s way before terrorists’ gun him down, The Times of Israel reported.
“Where’s daddy,” he quoted one of the boys as saying. “They killed daddy,” Blinken quoted the boy’s brother as responding. To this, the boy asked, “Where’s mommy?”, Blinken shared, according to The Times of Israel.
The US State Secretary revealed that further in the footage, the terrorist responsible for killing the boys’ parents is seen casually eating from the fridge. Blinken said it is “shocking” that the brutality of the slaughter has “receded” in the memory of so many “but not in Israel and not in the United States”. He noted that 33 Americans were killed in the October 7 onslaught along with 220 foreign nationals, according to The Times of Israel. Blinken said in Friday’s meeting with Israeli officials, he coordinated efforts to not only ensure that the October 7 onslaught doesn’t repeat itself but also build a “different future” — “a strategy that creates a better tomorrow for both peoples and the region”.
He said that he spoke about Washington’s desire to see humanitarian pauses amid the Gaza fighting. He added that legitimate questions were raised in his talks with Israeli officials about how to best use that pause to allow in more aid, secure the release of the hostages and prevent Hamas from using the temporary cessation to its advantage. Blinken said, “We need to be doing more to protect Palestinian civilians.” He reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself, but “how it does so matters. “He argued that protecting Palestinians is the “right thing to do” and that failing to do so “plays into the hands of Hamas”.
Blinken said he was pained to watch how the carnage impacted Israeli children, he felt no different watching Palestinian girls and boys being pulled from the rubble of buildings bombed by Israel, according to The Times of Israel. “When I see them, when I look into their eyes from the TV screens, I see my own children,” Blinken said, adding, “How can I not?” The US State Secretary asserted that Hamas doesn’t care about Palestinians and uses them as human shields, placing its infrastructure and fighters in residential buildings, schools’ mosques hospitals.
Earlier on Friday, Blinken called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are meeting for the third time since the outbreak of the war, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv,” read a post on the official X handle of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Blinken and Netanyahu met privately and then held an expanded meeting together with the War Cabinet. “At the start of the expanded meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu showed @SecBlinken and his delegation clips of the footage prepared by the IDF Spokesperson which depict the horrors and the massacre perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s office added in its post.