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25 June, 2024
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U.S. slams Israel's Gaza tactics

Controversy erupts as Secretary of State criticizes Israeli conduct in conflict


In a significant departure from previous stances, Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Israel's tactics in the Gaza conflict, deeming them ineffective in neutralizing Hamas militants while resulting in significant civilian casualties. Blinken stressed the urgency for Israeli forces to withdraw from Gaza and emphasized the necessity for credible plans from Israel regarding security and governance in the territory post-war.

Addressing concerns about Hamas resurgence in Gaza, Blinken warned of the potential consequences of Israeli military actions in the city of Rafah, cautioning against leaving Israel to grapple with a lasting insurgency or a chaotic power vacuum potentially filled by Hamas. He underscored ongoing efforts to develop comprehensive plans for security, governance, and reconstruction in Gaza, highlighting the need for similar initiatives from Israel.

Blinken's remarks aligned with a recent Biden administration report to Congress, which suggested that Israel's use of U.S.-provided weapons may have violated international humanitarian law. He emphasized the tragic toll on innocent civilians, echoing calls for Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza amid a growing humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the conflict.

In a phone call with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Blinken reiterated U.S. opposition to Israel's offensive in Rafah, emphasizing the toll on civilians and urging access for humanitarian workers to deliver aid. Meanwhile, Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, engaged in discussions with his Israeli counterpart, Tzachi Hanegbi, exploring alternative strategies to ensure Hamas's defeat across Gaza while acknowledging Israel's consideration of U.S. concerns.

The conflict, which began on October 7, has resulted in significant casualties and humanitarian suffering, prompting increased tensions between the Biden administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden's pledge to withhold weapons for all-out assaults in Rafah underscores the evolving dynamics in U.S.-Israeli relations amid mounting domestic and international pressure regarding the Gaza conflict.

[Source: Associated Press]

Cyprus  |  Middle East  |  Israel  |  Gaza

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