Blinken Heads To Middle East As Tensions Boil

In light of the escalating tensions surrounding Israel’s conflict with Hamas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be traveling to the Middle East on Thursday night to pursue a full diplomatic agenda.

The area is on high alert because of the assaults on U.S. facilities in Iraq and commercial shipping boats in the Red Sea, as well as the death of a prominent Hamas commander in Lebanon on Tuesday and a terrorist strike in Iran on Wednesday. There is a fear that a broader war may break out.

On his tour, Blinken will travel to a number of countries, including Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and the West Bank to meet with the Palestinian Authority.

On his schedule, the secretary will meet with key figures from countries the United States is counting on to bring down the temperature in the area and exercise influence.

During his visit, the secretary will discuss many pressing issues, including the Israeli battle against Hamas, the safety of civilians in the conflict zone, the need to increase humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza, and the release of the over a hundred captives that Hamas is currently holding.

This will be Blinken’s fourth journey to the Middle East and his fifth visit to Israel since the attacks in the Gaza Strip on October 7th, which were retaliated upon by Hamas.

According to Miller, the secretary will meet with partners immediately to explore ways to boost humanitarian supplies to Gaza and the shipment of commercial products by a significant amount. Along with “steps to the next phase of operations,” Blinken will talk to Israeli leaders on the current military campaign against Hamas, which includes letting Palestinians in Gaza go back to their towns and homes.

U.S. concerns over high Palestinian casualties in Gaza and tensions in the West Bank have not deterred the Biden administration from positioning itself as Israel’s principal ally in the ongoing conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This comes despite mounting international calls for a truce.