Photo Credit: GPO / Haim Zach
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on October 12, 2023

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of the State Antony Blinken in a private meeting on Friday that Israel appreciates America’ support, but the IDF must enter Rafah in order to root out the remaining Hamas battalions who are hiding there.

And if necessary, Israel will “go it alone.”


An expanded meeting was held with the members of Israel’s War Cabinet following their meeting.

“I met with Secretary of State Blinken,” Netanyahu said in a statement released late Friday afternoon.

“I told him that I greatly appreciate the fact that for more than five months we have been standing together in the war against Hamas.

“I also told him that we recognize the need to evacuate the civilian population from the combat zones and – of course – also see to the humanitarian needs, and we are working to this end.

“I also said that we have no way to defeat Hamas without entering Rafah and eliminating the remnant of the battalions there.

“I told him that I hope we would do this with US support but if necessary – we will do it alone.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is set to depart from Israel on Sunday for a trip to the United States at the invitation of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

In addition to meeting with his American counterpart, Gallant is expected to meet with Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior officials.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.