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Blinken: Israeli Offensive in Rafah Won't Eradicate Hamas

Photo : Reuters

In a recent interview, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concerns over the potential consequences of a full-scale Israeli offensive on the Gaza city of Rafah. He warned that such an offensive might not necessarily eliminate Hamas, the militant group controlling Gaza, but could instead lead to chaos and anarchy. This acknowledgment comes as Blinken also agreed that Israeli forces had caused more civilian casualties than Hamas militants during the ongoing conflict.

Blinken mentioned that the US had placed certain limits on weapons sales to Israel, with a hold on the delivery of 3,500 "high-capacity" bombs. The US is urging Israeli leaders to provide a plan for Gaza's future once the conflict subsides. The Secretary of State emphasized that Hamas militants had already returned to areas in northern Gaza that Israel had previously liberated.

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Concerning the potential costs and risks of a full-scale invasion, Blinken highlighted the possibility of Israel facing ongoing insurgency and the challenges of maintaining stability in the region. He also referenced a recent State Department report that suggested Israel may have violated international law in its use of US weapons during the conflict. Despite this, Blinken stated that there was insufficient evidence to halt all military support to Israel at this time.

Republicans, however, have criticized the limited halt to weapons sales, with Senator Tom Cotton stating that the State Department report found no evidence of Israel violating international law. He praised Israel's efforts to minimize civilian casualties during the conflict.

Overall, Blinken's remarks underscore the complexities of the situation in Gaza and the delicate balance between supporting Israel's security needs while addressing concerns about civilian casualties and international law violations.

May 13, 2024 1:12 p.m. 3755

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