Blinken Warns Israeli Offensive on Rafah May Lead to Anarchy

Sun May 12 2024
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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday cautioned against an all-out Israeli offensive on the Gaza city of Rafah, warning that such action could lead to “anarchy” without eliminating Hamas. He agreed that Israeli forces had killed more civilians than the Palestinian resistance movement fighters.

Blinken’s remarks come amidst escalating tensions in the region, with concerns over civilian casualties and the potential consequences of a prolonged conflict.

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Blinken expressed concern that Israel’s actions could result in either an enduring insurgency or a vacuum filled by chaos if the military were to withdraw from Rafah. He emphasized the need for a strategic approach to the conflict to prevent further instability in the region.

Responding to questions about the balance of casualties, Blinken acknowledged that Israeli forces had killed more civilians than Hamas fighters since the conflict began on October 7.

Regarding US support for Israel, Blinken confirmed that President Joe Biden’s hold on weapons shipments to Israel remains limited to 3,500 “high-capacity” bombs.

Blinken reiterated the importance of developing a comprehensive plan for Gaza once the conflict ends, emphasizing the need for a sustainable solution that addresses the underlying issues driving the conflict. “We also haven’t seen a plan for what happens the day after this war in Gaza ends,” he told NBC, adding, “We’ve been talking to them about a much better way of getting an enduring result.” He highlighted the role of ongoing diplomatic efforts in facilitating dialogue and negotiation between the parties involved.

Despite concerns raised in a State Department report about potential violations of international law by Israel in its use of US weapons, Blinken stated that there is insufficient evidence to warrant ending all military support. He cited the challenges of assessing the situation accurately amidst the chaos of war.

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