Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, met with King Abdullah the King of Jordan in Amman as his second visit on his longest-ever Middle East tour, although Israel is getting ready to launch a massive ground operation against Gaza, and therefore he urged residents of Gaza City to flee to the south.
His demand came a day after Blinken visited Israel and discussed the situation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The UN warned that it would be impossible to carry out his request “without devastating humanitarian consequences.”
Following an attack by Palestinian Hamas militants who rampaged through Israeli towns, killing 1,200 Israelis, US President Joe Biden sent his top ambassador to the region, which was engulfed in its most serious escalation in years.
Blinken has increased the scope of his journey beyond Israel and Jordan to encompass all of the Gulf Arab nations as well as Egypt.
The top American diplomat is scheduled to go to three additional nations on Friday alone: Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, where he will spend the night. He will see Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, in Amman before flying to Doha.
He said, “Across each of these engagements, we’ll continue pressing countries to help prevent the conflict from spreading and to use their leverage with Hamas to immediately and unconditionally release the hostages.”
He added, “We’ll also discuss how we can continue to make real our affirmative vision for a region that’s more peaceful, more prosperous, more secure, and more integrated. And in fact, that is the choice, and the choice in some ways has been made even starker by the actions of Hamas on Saturday.”
After Israel tightened a siege on the territory, Gaza moved closer to a humanitarian catastrophe on Thursday as the death toll increased and essential supplies became depleted. Israel declared that until all captives had been released, there would be no humanitarian respite.
However, a land invasion of the Gaza Strip, which is now under Israeli siege and is home to 2.3 million people, offers significant risks because Hamas is holding a large number of hostages taken during the attack.