U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were forced to shelter in a bunker for five minutes on Monday as a missile attack by the Hamas terror organization struck nearby.
The two took shelter from the rockets as air sirens went off in Tel Aviv during a meeting with Israel’s war cabinet, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.
Mr. Blinken and Mr. Netanyahu have since moved out of the bunker and are continuing their discussions at the Israeli defense ministry’s command center, Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Blinken is continuing to meet with several Israeli leaders, including Mr. Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The group is discussing engagements with regional partners, the situation on the ground in Gaza and Israel, and humanitarian efforts to limit the toll on civilians within the Gaza Strip.
Israel Defense Forces are expected to send ground units into the Gaza Strip soon. The move will begin the embattled nation’s first serious occupation of the region since 2005.
The move comes as Israel seeks to destroy Hamas, a terrorist group that conducted the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust last week.
Destroying Hamas’s presence in the Gaza Strip would likely not be possible without a prolonged Israeli military occupation of the region, said Jonathan Lord, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank.
As such, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) appear to be readying a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
“It’s going to be very likely that the IDF is going to have to reestablish administration of Gaza for some time,” Mr. Lord said during an Oct. 12 talk.
Joshua Krasna, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute think tank (FPRI), said that Hamas’s goal in attacking Israel was at least in part to generate a strong military response against Gaza, thereby galvanizing the surrounding Islamic nations to attack Israel.
“It is clear that one of Hamas’s goals in carrying out this outrage was to foment a wider regional conflict, was to bring Israel into such a reaction that then other actors, certainly Hezbollah and Iran, would be drawn in as well,” Mr. Krasna said during an Oct. 11 FPRI talk.
Every escalation, therefore, carries the risk of plunging Israel and the wider Middle East into a new era of Islamic terrorism.
It is unclear at present what the extent of the danger posed to Mr. Blinken and Mr. Netanyahu was, as well as what response Israel is taking against those behind this latest missile attack.
From The Epoch Times