During his fourth visit to Israel since the horrific terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7 that slaughtered 1,400 people, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the United States’ strong support for Israel’s right - and obligation - to defend itself. He also emphasized the need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians, as Israel fights its terrorist enemy inside Gaza, while Hamas shows total disregard for the wellbeing or welfare of Palestinians:
“It cynically and monstrously uses them as human shields, putting its commanders in command posts its weapons and ammunition within or beneath residential buildings, schools, mosques, hospitals. But civilians should not suffer the consequences for its inhumanity and its brutality.”
Secretary Blinken emphasized the need for Israel to minimize civilian deaths, while it pursues its objective of eradicating Hamas terrorists and their infrastructure of violence. He said it was necessary also to “substantially and immediately” increase the sustained flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, and get American citizens and other foreign nationals out of Gaza.
“We believe that each of these efforts would be facilitated by humanitarian pauses, by arrangements on the ground that increase security for civilians and permit the more effective and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance. That was an important area of discussion today with Israeli leaders: how, when, and where these can be implemented,” he said. “How to ensure that Hamas doesn’t use these pauses or arrangements to its own advantage. These are issues that we need tackle urgently, and we believe they can be solved.”
“Finally, and most importantly,” said Secretary Blinken, “even as we work towards progress on each of these urgent needs, we’re focused on setting the conditions for a durable and sustainable peace and security:”
“The United States continues to believe that the best viable path – indeed the only path is through a two-state solution. ... The only way to end a cycle of violence once and for all.”
“It’s precisely now, in the darkest moments,” declared Secretary Blinken, “that we have to fight hardest to preserve a path of stability, of security, of opportunity, of integration, of prosperity, and of peace – not tomorrow, not after the war, but today.”