Secretary of State Blinken: Israel Is Fully Justified in Confronting Hamas but Should Do More to Help Gazan Civilians

(U.S. State Department) Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday in Tel Aviv: "We had extensive discussions with the prime minister and national security leaders on the status of the military campaign to defeat Hamas, and on the progress toward achieving the fundamental objective of ensuring that October 7th never happens again....We also discussed the imperative of maximizing civilian protection and humanitarian aid to address the ongoing suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza." "We have pressed Israel in concrete ways to strengthen civilian protection, to get more assistance to those who need it. And over the past four months, Israel has taken important steps to do just that: starting the flow of aid; doubling it during the first pause for hostage releases; opening the north and south corridors in Gaza so that people could move out of immediate harm's way;...starting the flow of assistance from Jordan; establishing deconfliction mechanisms for humanitarian sites. As a result, today, more assistance than ever is moving into Gaza from more places than at any time since Oct. 7." "As the largest donor of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, the United States has helped provide much of that assistance, including funding 90,000 metric tons of flour delivered from Ashdod Port. That's enough to provide bread for 1.4 million people for the next five months." "We urge Israel to do more to help civilians, knowing full well that it faces an enemy that would never hold itself to those standards - an enemy that cynically embeds itself among men, women, and children, and fires rockets from hospitals, from schools, from mosques, from residential buildings; an enemy whose leaders surround themselves with hostages; an enemy that has declared publicly its goal: to kill as many innocent civilians as it can, simply because they're Jews, and to wipe Israel off the map." "That's why we've made clear that Israel is fully justified in confronting Hamas and other terrorist organizations."

2024-02-09 00:00:00

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