Blinken meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Wednesday, May 1, initiating a series of discussions with Israeli leaders about enhancing humanitarian aid to Gaza and urging Hamas to agree to a deal that would release hostages and secure a ceasefire.

Following visits to Riyadh and Amman earlier this week, Blinken arrived in Israel for the final leg of his broader Middle East tour.

This visit marks Blinken’s seventh to the region, which has been mired in conflict since Oct. 7, following an attack by Hamas.

In Israel, Blinken’s primary focus will be to advocate for specific actions by the Israeli government to improve the flow of humanitarian aid into the densely populated Gaza.

“Even as we work with relentless determination to secure a ceasefire that brings the hostages home, we must also focus on the people in Gaza who are suffering in this conflict initiated by Hamas,” Blinken stated at the beginning of his meeting with Herzog in Tel Aviv.

“Ensuring they receive the necessary assistance — food, medicine, water, and shelter — remains a crucial concern,” Blinken added.