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Blinken: Israel’s Tactics May Violate International Humanitarian Law

Daniel Kim Views  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized Israel on the 12th, stating that Israel’s tactics could perpetuate resistance as they have failed to neutralize Hamas leaders and members while causing horrific civilian casualties.

Nonetheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to continue the war in Gaza.

According to the Associated Press, Blinken conveyed the Biden administration’s strongest public criticism of Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip during an interview with NBC and CBS on the same day.

Blinken said that the U.S. believes Israeli forces should withdraw from Gaza. Still, they are waiting for a reliable plan from Israel regarding the security and governance of Gaza after the war.

He warned that Israel is at risk of reversing the criticism of ongoing rebellion due to the forceful action of the Israeli military in Rafah, the southernmost city of Gaza, where Hamas has re-emerged.

He told CBS News’ Face the Nation, “Whatever Israel does in Rafah, there will be plenty of armed Hamas left, so they will remain with the criticism of ongoing rebellion reversed, or if Israel leaves Gaza as the U.S. believes it should, a vacuum will be created and that vacancy is likely to be filled by chaos, anarchy, and ultimately, expected to be filled again by Hamas.”

Blinken pointed out that while an Israeli military operation advancing deeper into Rafah could initially be somewhat successful, it poses a risk of causing horrific damage to Palestinian civilians without preventing Hamas’s re-control over Gaza, which the U.S. and Israel want.

He argued that Israel’s conduct of the war resulted in the potential for many armed Hamas to remain and inherit resistance or for the deficiency in Gaza, a state of chaos and anarchy, to possibly be reclaimed by Hamas, saying, “The U.S. has been discussing a much better way to achieve sustainable outcomes and security with Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) is hugging U.S. President Joe Biden upon arriving at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on October 18, 2023 (local time)./AP-Yonhap.

Blinken stated about the horrific civilian casualties, “Considering the total damage inflicted on children, women, and men, it is reasonable to assess that Israel did not comply with international humanitarian law in certain cases concerning the use of weapons and incidents.”

The report submitted to Congress by the State Department on the 10th is interpreted to point out and confirm the possibility of Israel violating international humanitarian law by using weapons provided by the U.S. in Gaza.

However, Blinken said, “Israel also experienced the same thing due to Hamas’s invasion” and added, “We will take necessary measures when we reach a clear conclusion, but it is tough during wartime.”

Previously, President Biden stated in a CNN interview on the 8th that if Israel advances into Rafah, he will stop supporting attack weapons and ammunition.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen giving a speech at the Yad Labanim in Jerusalem, Israel, on the 12th (local time) during the Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism ceremony./AP-Yonhap

Notwithstanding these warnings, Netanyahu has been emphasizing that he will continue the war with Hamas, which started on October 7 last year.

Netanyahu said at an event hosted by the Yad Labanim Memorial institution in Jerusalem today that about half of the war with Hamas has been completed, and “we are dedicated to finishing this sacred mission,” according to local media Times of Israel (TOI) and others.

Netanyahu emphasized, “We will fight together. Because this is the only way to defeat the Hamas monsters that try to destroy us,” saying he thinks of the bereaved families every day in the same way he thinks of his brother Yoni, who died during the Entebbe operation in 1976.

Major General Herzi Halevi, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said, “We know that we will pay the price in this war, but we are determined to complete the mission. As long as the enemies oppose us, we will be vigilant, prepared, and will respond strongly to any attempts to harm us, and we will attack those who try to kill us.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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