US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a press briefing from Israel on Tuesday, after meeting with Israeli leaders including PM Netanyahu and President Herzog, reportedly delivering a message urging restraint.
He issued the following blunt but bizarrely understated words: the “daily toll on civilians in Gaza, particularly children, is far too high,” Blinken said.
It’s the year 2024 and the top US diplomat just asked America’s closest ally in the Middle East politely to… stop killing so many children.
“The situation for men, women, and children in Gaza remains dire. Far too many Palestinians have been killed, especially children. Far too many remain incredibly challenged in terms of…access to food, water, medicine, the essentials of life,” the top diplomat described while in Israel.
He did add this which seemed somewhat in justification of Israeli military actions: “We know that the enemy who hides and fires from schools and hospitals bases is an incredible challenge.”
“As Israel’s campaign moves to a lower intensity phase in northern Gaza and as the IDF scales down its forces there, we agreed today on a plan for the U.N, to carry out an assessment mission,” Blinken said during his visit
“It will determine what needs to be done to allow displaced Palestinians to return safely to the north,” he added, indirectly addressing growing calls from within Israel’s government to encourage a mass migration into other countries.
According to regional media:
Blinken said the United States rejected any proposals advocating a resettlement of Palestinians outside Gaza and stressed that the Palestinian Authority has the responsibility to reform itself.
He said that many countries in the Middle East are ready to invest in the future of Gaza, but only with a clear pathway to a Palestinian state.
Meanwhile, the top U.S. diplomat also said Washington believes South Africa’s genocide submission against Israel is “meritless.”
His comments addressing the Hamas ‘day after’ – which has been subject of disagreement between Tel Aviv and Washington of late, included the following: “Many countries in the region are prepared to invest when the conflict is over in [Gaza’s] reconstruction and security,” Blinken said. “But it is essential to them that there also be a clear pathway to the realization of a Palestinian political state.”
This week the Gaza Health Ministry has estimated over 23,000 deaths, mostly civilians, as a result of the IDF air and ground operation to eradicate Hamas. International reports, citing Palestinian sources, have said that some two-thirds of these are women and children.
Blinken highlighting the plight of Palestinian children in such an unusually frank fashion signals a change in White House messaging. After all, the reality is that children in the Gaza Strip were dying and being wounded at a high rate even from the opening week of the conflict in the wake of the Oct.7 Hamas terror attack. Thus Blinken’s words clearly represent growing albeit very belated pressure from the Biden administration. But it’s too little, too late given the astounding and tragic death toll.
The White House has also failed to address the real elephant in the room, however: the fact that so many children are dying with American weapons, and this is all being funded by the US taxpayer. Blinken while in Tel Aviv still consistently underscored the long-running administration message, saying the US stands by Israel’s “right to prevent another October 7 from occurring.”
Tue, 01/09/2024 – 21:20