December 1, 2023

Blinken Tells Israel Not to Restart War Without Plan to Protect Civilians in Gaza

Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to restart war in Gaza without a plan to protect civilians.

The information came near the end of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that has allowed some hostage exchanges to take place.

“I made clear that before Israel resumed major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians,” said Blinken during this week's trip to Israel.

“That means taking more effective steps to protect the lives of civilians, including by clearly and precisely designating areas in places in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and out of the line of fire," he added.

"You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north," Blinken also told Israel's war cabinet.

"There are two million Palestinians there. You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas [for civilians]. And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population. What is your system of operation?" he continued.

Hamas has since violated the pause in fighting and fired more rockets at Israel. Israeli Defense Forces has in turn restarted strikes in Gaza.

Despite the Biden administration's claims to support Israel, Blinken's latest comments appear to undermine the IDF's ability to operate against Hamas.

Israel has carefully targeted Hamas terrorists following attacks by the terror group on Oct. 7 that killed over 1,200 Israelis.

The secretary's words are unlikely to be heeded as Israel seeks to retrieve more of its hostages and end the ability of Hamas to operate in the area.

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