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Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed the issue of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip during a recent CNN interview.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Blinken spoke with anchor Jake Tapper about Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian harm in Gaza. He stated, “We think there needs to be a premium put on protecting civilians and making sure that humanitarian assistance can get to everyone who needs it.” Blinken acknowledged Israel’s intent to protect civilians but noted that the results are not always evident.
Blinken also commented on Israel’s right to respond to Hamas’s attack on October 7, stressing the importance of civilian protection in their military operations. He said, “So, Israel needs to be able to deal with this to protect itself, to prevent Oct. 7 from happening again. But, as it does that, it’s imperative that civilians be protected.” He emphasized the need for military operations to be designed around civilian protection.
Blinken stressed the importance of ensuring safe humanitarian aid delivery, saying, “We need to see the same kind of deconfliction, time, pauses, designated routes, and clarity of communication, so that people know when and where it is safe to move.”
This comes days after the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. Thirteen members voted in favor of the resolution, while the United Kingdom abstained. This veto was met with criticism and condemnation from many countries in the region, who called on the US to stop “covering” for Israel at the United Nations.