SECRETARY of State Antony Blinken will return to Israel on Monday as the country prepares to launch an invasion into Hamas-controlled Gaza by air, land and sea, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Sunday.
Hundreds of thousands of people in northern Gaza are fleeing in buses, in cars and on foot, crowding onto narrow roads leading south after Israel’s evacuation warning.
Once back in Israel, Blinken will consult with officials on the latest developments, Miller said.
The Israeli military said it is preparing a “wide range” of offensive plans “for the next stages of the war, with an emphasis on significant ground operations,” though it has not provided a concrete indication of when the assault would start.
The Hamas attacks have killed at least 1,300 people in Israel and injured over 3,700, authorities said. Palestinian officials said 2,329 people in Gaza have been killed and more than 9,700 wounded in Israeli strikes.
The United States is working with the governments of Israel, Egypt and Jordan, as well as with the United Nations, “to surge support to ease the humanitarian consequences of Hamas’s attack, create conditions needed to resume the flow of assistance, and advocate for the upholding of the law of war,” President Biden said Saturday.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel said it will evacuate Americans and their immediate family members from Haifa, Israel, by sea to Cyprus on Monday.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is “fast becoming untenable,” U.N. relief head Martin Griffiths warned Saturday, adding that “the worst is yet to come.”.
The World Health Organization said Israel’s directive to evacuate hospitals in northern Gaza was a “death sentence for the sick and injured,” and called on the country to reverse it. The Palestine Red Crescent Society has said it will continue to operate al-Quds Hospital and Gaza’s emergency medical center.