Blinken Concludes Middle East Tour, Asks Israel for Humanitarian Pauses

November 7, 2023

“…So you can expect that we’re going to continue to advocate for temporary, localized pauses in the fighting.”

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said as President Joe Biden holds conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about humanitarian pauses in Gaza.

What To Know: Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his Middle East tour in Turkey on Monday after visiting Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Cyprus and Iraq over the weekend in order to “…to build support for the Biden administration’s proposal for the humanitarian initiatives” by Israel in Gaza (The Associated Press).

Blinken – the nation’s top diplomat – said, “We’ve engaged the Israelis on steps that they can take to minimize civilian casualties. We’re working, as I said, very aggressively on getting more humanitarian assistance into Gaza.” Blinken did not call for a cease fire.

To Note: Blinken did not meet with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but instead with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hakan Fidan. Turkey has criticized the United States’ support for Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained his government may be open to conduct these short pauses during its attacks on Hamas and said, “As far as tactical little pauses, an hour here, an hour there. We’ve had them before, I suppose, we’ll check the circumstances in order to enable goods, humanitarian goods to come in, or our hostages, individual hostages to leave. But I don’t think there’s going to be a general cease-fire.”

Read More:

Blinken wraps up frantic Mideast tour with tepid, if any, support for pauses in Gaza fighting (The Associated Press)

Blinken’s Whirlwind Shuttle Diplomacy Trip (Foreign Policy)

by Sarah Pinkerton,