Matthew Miller leads the Department Press Briefing at the Department of State

Source U.S Department of State



Media – I would like to begin by reiterating our condolences to the families of those who were killed by Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, including the 14 American citizens who we know have died.

The department is actively engaging with the families of those U.S. citizens. None of us can imagine the grief that they are feeling today, and we are doing everything we can in our power to offer them all appropriate consular assistance.

I also want to talk about Secretary Blinken’s efforts over the past four days since Hamas launched its initial terrorist attacks against Israel, which have been focused on three key priorities.

First and foremost, the Secretary has been engaged with our Israeli partners to ensure that Israel has everything that it needs to defend itself.

Both President Biden and Secretary Blinken have made clear that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the government and people of Israel. The first tranche of security assistance is on its way and will arrive in the coming days, and more will follow.

“President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. delivers remarks on the terrorist attacks in Israel, at the White House, on October 10, 2023.”

Second, the Secretary has been working the phones with his foreign counterparts to ensure that anyone who has lines of communication with parties hostile to Israel should use those channels to say that now is not the time to take advantage of this situation.  The President has made that point clear – has made that point clearly and forcefully, and it is one Secretary Blinken has reiterated in his calls with leaders in the region.

Third, the Secretary has been intensely focused on securing the release of all hostages held in Gaza. There are a number of countries who have the ability to deliver messages to Hamas, and we have made clear to those countries that they should urge Hamas to release all hostages immediately. This is a matter we take incredibly seriously.

Finally, I’d like to announce that Secretary Blinken will be traveling to Israel in the coming days to engage our Israeli partners directly about the situation on the ground and how we can continue to best support them in their fight against the terrorists who launched these horrific attacks.

Our support for Israel is unwavering, and the Secretary looks forward to meeting with senior leaders in the Israeli Government and continuing the discussions he and the President have been having with them since the initial attacks on Saturday.

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