Blinken: Israel Becoming ‘Indistinguishable’ From Hamas

by | Apr 5, 2024

Blinken: Israel Becoming ‘Indistinguishable’ From Hamas

by | Apr 5, 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 issued a stark warning to Tel Aviv that Israel risked becoming no different from Hamas if it did not curb civilian casualties in Gaza. The senior official also said that the White House welcomed the opening of another border crossing into the territory, but would not be satisfied until more aid reached the Palestinians.

During a press conference in Brussels on Thursday, Blinken pinned blame on Hamas for the severe deprivation in Gaza but said Tel Aviv shared some responsibility and must assist the millions of refugees displaced by its bombing spree.

“What happened after October 7th could have ended immediately if Hamas had stopped hiding behind civilians, released the hostages, and put down its weapons,” the diplomat said. “But Israel is not Hamas. Israel is a democracy; Hamas, a terrorist organization. And democracies place the highest value on human life – every human life.”

He added, “It’s what distinguishes us from terrorists like Hamas. If we lose that reverence for human life, we risk becoming indistinguishable from those we confront.”

Blinken’s statement came amid Israel’s brutal six-month-long onslaught in Gaza, which has earned Tel Aviv much negative press in recent days given the scale of destruction and human carnage.

On Monday in central Gaza, Israel killed a seven-member aid team working for a US NGO, World Central Kitchen, with three strikes. The aid workers were from Western countries, including the US, provoking demands that Tel Aviv investigate the crime. Additionally, Haaretz reported that Israeli forces have established unmarked “kill zones” in Gaza that have resulted in the deaths of countless innocent Palestinians.

In response to the murder of an American aid worker, President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demanded that Israel protect civilian life and allow more aid into Gaza.

On Friday, Israel announced that it had dismissed two officers who approved the strikes on the aid convoy. It also said it would open an additional border crossing into Gaza to allow more supplies to enter.

Blinken said Washington welcomed the step; however, the White House wants to see results. Aid shipments in Gaza plummeted after October 7, when Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that Tel Aviv would effectively bar all humanitarian assistance from entering the territory.

Before October, more than 500 aid trucks and other commercial deliveries were able to enter Gaza each day. In February, that sunk to a low of under 100 trucks daily. According to Tel Aviv, that number has slightly ticked up but remains at about 150 trucks per day.

In addition to increasing the number of trucks entering Gaza, aid groups say that only a ceasefire will allow aid to reach the most devastated areas of the Strip, where thousands remain on the brink of famine.

This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com and is republished with permission.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

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

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