US Secretary of State Antony Blinken departed for Israel on Wednesday afternoon, telling reporters before boarding his flight that he is travelling to Israel with a very simple and clear message: “The United States has Israel’s back. We have the back of the Israeli people. We have their back today. We’ll have it tomorrow. We will have it every day.”

“We stand resolutely against terrorism. We’ve seen the almost undescribable acts committed by Hamas against Israeli men, women, and children. Every day we’re learning more, and it is simply heartbreaking. Not since ISIS have we seen this kind of depravity, and we will continue to stand very resolutely against it,” Blinken said.

“When I’m in Israel, I’ll have the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Herzog, other senior officials. I look forward to seeing our embassy team, as well, which is doing terrific work during these difficult days.”

“We’re determined to make sure that Israel gets everything it needs to defend itself, and provide for the security of its people. Already, significant military assistance requested by Israel is on the way. That’s on top of everything that we’ve been doing for years, including with the memorandum of understanding that was negotiated by President Obama, to make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself,” continued Blinken.

“At the same time, we anticipate there’ll be further needs, further requests. We’ve already been closely with Congress on this, and look forward to continuing to do that to make sure that Israel has what it needs.”

“Second, we will be reiterating, reaffirming the very strong message President Biden has delivered to any country or any party that might try to take advantage of the situation. And that message is: Don’t. The President has deployed, as you know, the world’s largest aircraft carrier group to the region to make very clear our intent to deter anyone contemplating any further aggression against Israel,” stated Blinken.

“Finally, of course, we’re very focused on our own people, our own citizens. We lost 22 Americans; that number could still go up. It probably will. At the same time, we have a number of Americans who remain unaccounted; we are working very closely with the Government of Israel to determine their whereabouts, and if they have been taken hostage by Hamas, to work to secure their release,” the Secretary of State concluded.

Blinken’s visit to Israel was announced on Tuesday, with State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller saying, "Our support for Israel is unwavering, and the Secretary looks forward to meeting with senior leaders in the Israeli government and continuing the discussions he and the President have been having with them since the initial attacks on Saturday."

Blinken later spoke to President Isaac Herzog. Miller said that during the call, Blinken reaffirmed “unwavering US support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas’ horrific terrorist attacks.”

“The Secretary reiterated his condolences for all those killed or injured and for those still missing,” added Miller.

Blinken also commented on the meeting in a post on X, writing, “I spoke with Israeli President Isaac Herzog today to reaffirm the United States remains steadfast in its support for Israel and its right to defend itself.”