Gaza crisis: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says 'we need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians'

Speaking to reporters, he also said, “we need to substantially and immediately increase the sustainable humanitarian assistance” into Gaza

By AP

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Published: Fri 3 Nov 2023, 6:30 PM

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said more needs to be done to “protect Palestinian civilians” in Gaza and that, without that, there will be “no partners for peace.”

Speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv on Friday, Blinken also said, “we need to substantially and immediately increase the sustainable humanitarian assistance” into Gaza.

He also said it was critical to restore the path toward a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, calling it the only “guarantor” of a safe and democratic Israel and independent Palestine. He said work on that must begin “not tomorrow, not after today, but today.”

Israeli troops tightened their encirclement of Gaza City, the focus of their campaign to crush the enclave’s ruling Hamas militants, who launched a brutal attack on Israeli communities that started the war.

But ever since that October 7 assault, there have been concerns the conflict could ignite fighting on other fronts.

More than 3,700 Palestinian children have been killed in 25 days of fighting, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. Bombardment has driven more than half the territory’s 2.3 million people from their homes. Food, water and fuel are running low under Israel’s siege, and overwhelmed hospitals warn they are on the verge of collapse.

Israel has allowed more than 260 trucks carrying food and medicine into Gaza, but aid workers say it’s not nearly enough. Israeli authorities have refused to allow fuel in, saying Hamas is hoarding fuel for military use and would steal new supplies.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the US was not advocating for a general cease-fire but a “temporary, localized” pause.

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