‘Fighting evil and darkness with goodness and light’: Vigil honors Israeli lives lost

Israeli PM meets Blinken in Israel, Lawler demands U.S. use military to bring Americans home
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Israel on Thursday amid the country's intense fighting with Hamas.
The U.S. has pledged unwavering support to Israel after Gaza's Hamas militants stormed through a border fence Saturday and killed hundreds of Israelis.
Hamas said it launched its attack Saturday because Palestinians' suffering had become intolerable under unending Israeli military occupation, increasing settlements in the West Bank and a 16-year-long blockade in Gaza.
As the Biden administration continues its work to support Israel and move military assets into the region, U.S. officials across the government are working behind the scenes to piece together an accurate picture on the ground that includes figuring out exactly how many Americans are being held hostage in Gaza, where they are, and what can be done about it.
One Hudson Valley congressman says getting Americans home needs to be top priority. "My objective in the immediate is to get our hostages, potential hostages back and to make sure that any American citizen who wants to leave Israel and come back to the United States is able to do so expeditiously. It's why I've called on the administration to get military aircraft to Israel immediately so that we can get folks home. The biggest challenge right now is, United States commercial airlines are not flying into Israel because of the insurance and the security risks," says Rep. Mike Lawler (R-17).
AP wires were used in this report