New Telegraph

Blinken: US Will Always Back Israel, Protecting Civilians Important

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has vowed unending US support for Israel during a visit to the country yesterday. “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself, but as long as America exists you will never, ever have to,” he said.

He added that how Israel defends itself “matters” and “it is so important to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians”. Earlier, Israel said the siege of Gaza would not end until Israeli hostages were released, reports the BBC.

“No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter,” said Energy Minister Israel Katz. At least 150 hostages were taken into Gaza during Hamas’s deadly attacks on Israel at the weekend that killed 1,300 people.

More than 1,300 have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory air strikes, with 338,000 displaced. On Wednesday, the only power station in Gaza ran out of fuel, meaning the territory is relying on generators. Meanwhile, Blinken is travelling to Qatar to- day to meet with senior officials.

Earlier this week Qa- tari mediators tried to negotiate for the release of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for 36 women in Israeli prisons.

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