Antony Blinken delivers even stronger public condemnation of Israel: ‘Get out of Gaza’

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Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Sunday delivered one of the Biden administration’s strongest public condemnations of Israel, amid its war with Hamas in Gaza.

During a pair of televised interviews, Blinken said the United States wanted Israeli forces to “get out of Gaza” amid what he described as “the horrific loss of life of innocent civilians.”

He said Israel’s tactics in the war had failed to neutralize Hamas and could create a power “vacuum” in the Palestinian territories.

When asked about the U.S. withholding more payload bombs to America’s ally Israel, Blinken said: “We believe in two things. One, you have to have a clear, credible plan to protect the public, which we haven’t seen. Second, we need to look at the plan for what happens after the end of this conflict in Gaza. We haven’t seen it yet, because what are we seeing now? We are seeing parts of Gaza that Israel cleared of Hamas, where Hamas is coming back in the north, including Khan Younis.

He added: “When we look at Rafah, they may go in and have some initial success, but at an incredibly high cost to the civilian population, but something that is not sustainable, not sustainable. And whatever they do in Rafah, or leave Gaza, many of the armed Hamas Because they’ll be left, they’ll hold the pie in a protracted insurgency. Then you’re going to have a vacuum and a vacuum that will be filled by chaos, anarchy, and eventually Hamas again.

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Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US wants “Israeli forces out of Gaza” after what he described as “a horrific loss of innocent civilian life”. AFP via Getty Images

The comments came during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Blinken also had an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he echoed publicly, for the first time by a U.S. official, the findings of a new Biden administration report to Congress on Friday that Israel used U.S.-supplied weapons in Gaza. May violate international humanitarian law.

“When using weapons, taking the totality of the damages caused to children, women, men, it is reasonable to assess that in some cases, Israel has acted in ways that are incompatible with international humanitarian law,” Blinken said, condemning the “brutal loss of life of innocent civilians.”

President Biden makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington on May 11, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

“We treat Israel, one of our closest allies and partners, as we treat any other country, including assessing international humanitarian law and its compliance,” he continued.

During the same interview, Blinken praised President Biden’s support for Israel — “no one has done more than Biden” — despite an apparent shift in tone.

“No one has done more to protect Israel than President Biden,” the secretary of state said.

Buildings at Al-Azhar University-Gaza, damaged during an Israeli military attack, stand amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza City on April 28, 2024. Reuters

“He was the first president to visit Israel amid the conflict since October 7, when Iran launched an unprecedented attack on Israel. A few weeks ago, 300 missiles, including ballistic missiles, were launched into Israel. The United States, for the first time, participated in its defense activity, and President Biden He put together a coalition of nations that helped defend Israel.

Blinken spoke to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday, reiterating U.S. opposition to the Israeli offensive in Rafah, as the State Department reconsidered its call on civilians there.

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He said the U.S. has been working for weeks with Arab countries and others to develop “credible plans for security, governance, reconstruction” in Gaza, but “we haven’t seen that coming from Israel. … We need to see that too.”

More than a million Palestinians are forced to live in Rafah amid Israel’s offensive across Gaza. Israel has described the city as the last stronghold of Hamas terrorists.

The war began on October 7 after a Hamas attack against Israel that killed 1,200 people.





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