Blinken to focus on minimising harm to civilians

As we’ve reported, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making his second visit to Israel since Hamas launched a series of deadly attacks on the country on 7 October and Israel began it’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza.

His trip will focus on measures to minimise harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of his departure, Blinken said he would seek “concrete measures” from Israel to ensure that harm to Palestinian civilians is reduced, as US President Joe Biden also called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict.

Blinken will also hold talks in Jordan.

It comes as Israel said on Thursday evening its army had completely encircled Gaza City and was engaging in face-to-face battles with Hamas fighters.