Blinken Urges ‘Israel’ To Account for Safety of Palestinian Civilians
Story Code : 1099477
As negotiators from Qatar and Egypt were in difficult talks on Thursday for a new two-day extension to the pause in fighting between Hamas and ‘Israel’, the US diplomat made his third trip to the region since the ‘Israeli’ war on Gaza began on October 7.
Blinken said Washington stepped up calls for ‘Israel’ to comply with international law and protect civilians if it starts major military operations in southern Gaza.
His message was in keeping with the administration of US President Joe Biden’s shifting rhetoric on the war, which began as a full-throated embrace of the ‘Israeli’ action amid the Hamas surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Flood in the ‘Israeli’-occupied Palestinian territories on October 7 but gradually tempered as the number of Palestinian civilian casualties began to rise dramatically.
More than 15,000 Palestinians have been martyred in Gaza since October 7, including more than 6,000 children. The death toll and scale of destruction have prompted widespread international criticism.
As ‘Israel’ bombarded hospitals, schools and homes, the Gaza Ministry of Health said at least 7,000 people are still missing or feared buried under the rubble, and more than 36,000 Palestinians have been wounded, many with life-altering injuries. With 26 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals out of service, their chances of getting treatment are slim.
To prevent a further significant increase in civilian casualties, Blinken “stressed the imperative of accounting for humanitarian and civilian protection needs in southern Gaza before any military operations there.”
Later on Thursday, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Washington supports the resumption of fighting in Gaza after the end of the truce, which Netanyahu has affirmed would happen.