Secretary of State Antony Blinken hid in a bomb shelter after air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv to warn of a possible incoming rocket barrage from Hamas on Monday, according to media reports.
Blinken touched town in Israel for the second time in one week to pledge U.S. support for Israel ahead of the country’s imminent ground offensive into Gaza to eliminate the Hamas terrorist organization, The Washington Post reported. But just as Blinken was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet, the sirens went off, prompting the parties to shelter for five minutes, State Department spokesman Matt Miller said, according to the Post.
A Bloomberg reporter was nearby at the Ministry of Defense and confirmed that Blinken and the Israeli war cabinet hid from the possible barrage.
After the sirens stopped, the parties relocated to a military command center in the Ministry of Defense, the Post reported.
Blinken held several meetings with high-level Israeli officials on Monday, the Post reported. Air raid sirens had gone off earlier in the day as Blinken’s motorcade traveled between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, but while other passengers pulled over to the side of the highway, Blinken’s motorcade continued.
The Post’s John Hudson posted footage on social media of the sirens warning of a possible rocket attack:
Blinken made a second stop in Israel after a blitz through the Middle East, including stops in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to manage the crisis and attempt to gin up support for Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
President Joe Biden has called on Israel to exercise restraint in Gaza by planning against a long occupation and urged Israel to minimize civilian casualties, according to the Post. Aid agencies say up to 600,000 people have already been displaced and supplies of food, water and medicine in the strip are running dangerously low.
The State Department is working with Egypt to open the Rafah crossing in hopes of allowing U.S. citizens located in Palestine to escape.
The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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