Blinken tells Netanyahu to avoid 'further civilian harm' in Gaza

AFP , Tuesday 9 Jan 2024

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that his forces must avoid inflicting further harm on civilians in Gaza, the State Department said.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Antony Blinken
A handout file photo made available by Israel s Government Press Office (GPO) shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Blinken has been visiting countries across the Middle East to calm regional tension over the conflict, now into its fourth month, and talk to Israeli leaders about their handling of the war.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Blinken had reaffirmed "US support for Israel's attempts to stop any repeat of the Hamas attack of October 7."

Miller said Blinken then "stressed the importance of avoiding further civilian harm and protecting civilian infrastructure in Gaza".

Miller said Blinken and Netanyahu discussed attempts to free the remaining 136 prisoners captured by Hamas on 7 October.

They also talked about the importance of getting more aid to the people of Gaza.

"The secretary reiterated the need to ensure lasting, sustainable peace for Israel and the region, including by the realisation of a Palestinian state," said Miller.

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