Tuesday 14 May 2024

Biden Admin Wants Israeli Forces To ‘Get Out Of Gaza,’ Secretary Blinken Says

 The Biden administration wants Israeli forces to “get out of Gaza,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, offering a stern critique of the months-long war against Hamas.

Blinken’s comment follows the top U.S. diplomat calling on Israel to work with the Palestinian leaders in January, advocating for a pause in the Gaza war in February, warning against a Rafah assault in March, and demanding Israel do more to provide humanitarian aid in April.

During an appearance on CBS, Blinken cited “two things” the United States wants from Israel as Biden withholds delivery of 3,500 bombs in protest of a ground operation in Rafah where many Palestinians took refuge during the conflict following a deadly Hamas terrorist attack in October.

“You have to have a clear, credible plan to protect civilians, which we haven’t seen,” Blinken said during a “Face the Nation” interview. “Second, we also need to see a plan for what happens after this conflict in Gaza is over. And we still haven’t seen that.”

Blinken said members of Hamas had been seen returning to parts of Gazathat Israel had already cleared. He also said Israeli forces entering Rafah to root out a suspected Hamas stronghold would “potentially” bring a high cost to civilians and ultimately fail to secure a “durable” victory.

“And they will be left holding the bag on an enduring insurgency, because a lot of armed Hamas will be left, no matter what they do in Rafah,” Blinken said. “Or if they – if they leave and get out of Gaza, as we believe they need to do, then you’re going to have a vacuum, and a vacuum that’s likely to be filled by chaos, by anarchy, and ultimately by Hamas again.”


Experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation they doubted the Biden administration’s approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict would be successful. One of them, Foundation for Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz, said, “Only the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) patient, well-planned and well-executed operation has been successful in smashing Hamas and releasing hostages, to date.”

According to the State Department, Blinken spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as recently as Sunday to discuss “the situation in Gaza and ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages.” The State Department said Blinken affirmed the Biden administration’s opposition to the Rafah operation despite the secretary affirming “ironclad” U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.

Blinken told CBS that the U.S. has been working with others for “many weeks” to develop “credible plans for security, for governance, for rebuilding.” He added that ultimately, the Biden administration has the “same objective as Israel,” which is to “make sure that Hamas cannot govern Gaza again,” and that the U.S. believes it has a more “durable way of getting that done.”

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