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Blinken and Austin bolster US support for Israel as potential ground offensive in Gaza looms

By LOLITA C. BALDOR and MATTHEW LEE
Associated Press

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is assuring Israel that “we have your back” as he and America’s top diplomat met with Israeli and Arab leaders. There is no indication the U.S. is trying to prevent an expected Israeli ground offensive in Gaza that could worsen a humanitarian crisis for the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped in the blockaded territory. The visits by Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the U.S. top diplomat, came as Israel escalated its war against Hamas militants in retaliation for their shocking and brutal rampage last weekend.

Article Topic Follows: AP-National

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