Gazans’ lives more important than defeating Hamas – Blinken

Israel should prioritize Gazan lives over winning the war against the terror group, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Israel’s highest priority in its ongoing war against Hamas should be protecting Gazan civilians, and that aim should be more important than the goal of defeating the terror group.

“We look to the government of Israel to make sure [humanitarian aid] is a priority. Protecting civilians, getting people the assistance they need — that has to be job number one, even as they do what is necessary to defend the country and to deal with the threat posed by Hamas,” Blinken said on Wednesday during a press conference in Washington D.C.

Blinken appeared to place the onus of saving Gazan civilians’ lives on Israel, rather than the Hamas terror group which operates from densely populated residential areas, schools, and hospitals, using the local population as human shields.

Referencing American airdrops of aid into the Strip – some of which have killed Gazans as the packages’ parachutes failed to open – Blinken yet again framed the issue of humanitarian assistance in the coastal enclave as Israel’s responsibility.

He reiterated the Biden administration’s push for Israel to open more ground routes for aid to enter the Strip.

“I want to emphasize [that air drops are] a complement to, not a substitute for, other ways of getting humanitarian assistance into Gaza, and in particular overland routes remain the most critical way to get assistance in and then to people who need it, but this will help close the gap,” Blinken said.

Later in the conference, Blinken appeared to reference the fact that local humanitarian agencies, such as UNRWA, have been heavily infiltrated by terror groups.

He also acknowledged that Hamas launches attacks from civilian areas, but stressed that “the Israeli military [and] Israeli government have a responsibility and obligation to do everything possible to ensure that the humanitarians can do their jobs.”

Blinken did not mention Egypt’s refusal to allow even a single Gazan refugee into its territory, nor did he suggest that Hamas had any obligation to prioritize Gazans’ lives over their terror goals.