Blinken Acknowledges Starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, Blames Hamas

by | Mar 19, 2024

Blinken Acknowledges Starvation of Palestinians in Gaza, Blames Hamas

by | Mar 19, 2024

secretary blinken meets with israeli prime minister (53453696214)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 9, 2024. (Credit: US State Department / Chuck Kennedy)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the entire population of Gaza was in a hunger crisis but placed blame on Hamas for the situation. After October 7, Israel severely reduced aid entering Gaza and destroyed most of the infrastructure in the Strip needed to keep the 2.3 million Palestinians in the Strip alive. 

At a press conference in the Philippines on Tuesday, America’s top diplomat was asked by a reporter about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Blinken said, “According to the most respected measure of these things, 100 percent of the population in Gaza is at severe levels of acute food insecurity. That’s the first time an entire population has been so classified.” 

The Secretary is referencing a report published by Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), which predicted famine would begin in Gaza within the next two months. The ICP lays blame on Israel for its military operations and restrictions on aid for causing the widespread starvation in Gaza. 

“The devastation brought about by the hostilities is indescribable. The escalation of hostilities has caused widespread damage to assets and infrastructure indispensable to survival.” It adds, “Extremely limited humanitarian access to and within the Gaza Strip continues to impede the safe and equitable delivery of life-saving multi-sector humanitarian assistance.”

Still, Blinken placed blame on Hamas for the famine while suggesting Israel could do more to help civilians. “We continue to face a horrific humanitarian situation for children, for women, for men in Gaza. In the first instance, of course, this is something brought about by Hamas, by its actions on October 7th and by its actions ever since,” the diplomat said. “This could have, as I’ve said repeatedly, been over many months ago if Hamas had put down its arms, stopped hiding behind civilians, and released the hostages.”

While discussing Tel Aviv’s role, the Secretary stated, “It is also absolutely incumbent on Israel, as it acts to defend itself and prevent October 7th from happening again, to make it a priority to protect civilians – those who are caught in harm’s way – and to provide for those who desperately need humanitarian assistance.”

Blinked added, “And this is something that we have worked on one way or another virtually every day since.” However, as Tel Aviv has slashed aid shipments to Gaza by over 80% over the past five months, the White House has approved 100 armed shipments to Israel. President Biden has refused to condition any US military aid to Israel even as Washington is aware that Israel is indiscriminately bombing Gaza. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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