Home NEWS International News Blinken pushes back on criticism of US support for Israel

Blinken pushes back on criticism of US support for Israel

At a year-end-press conference, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken pushed back on criticism of American support for Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

He was speaking as UN diplomats scrambled to avoid another US veto on a ceasefire resolution.

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“I hear no-one demanding of Hamas that it stop hiding behind civilians, lay down its arms and surrender,” he said. “This would be over tomorrow if that happened.”

“How can it be that there are no demands made of the aggressor and only demands of the victim,” he added, stressing that the Hamas attack on 7 October started the war.

Blinken said the US had been at the forefront of getting humanitarian aid into Gaza and wanted to make sure that the UN resolution “advances that effort and…doesn’t make it more complicated.”

He repeated the administration’s position that Israel must do more to protect civilians, but that it had a right and duty to fight this war.

“Understandably everyone would like to see this conflict end as quickly as possible,” he said. “But if it ends with Hamas in place with the capacity to do 7 October (attacks) again and again, that’s not in the interests of the region or the world.”

The Hamas government media office has just announced that the number of people killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza has now exceeded 20,000.

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