As Israel resumes airstrikes on Gaza after a week-long truce ended on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken blamed the Hamas and said that it “reneged on commitments it made.”
Speaking at the airport in Dubai after he concluded a two-day Middle East visit, Blinken said it was important to understand why the ceasefire came to an end. “It came to an end because of Hamas,” he said.
Blinken added that the US was sure Israel is taking steps to ensure civilians are protected as airstrikes continue. He said: “I made clear that after the pause it was imperative that Israel put in place clear protections for civilians and for sustaining humanitarian assistance going forward. And as we've seen just today, Israel has already moved out on parts of that, including sending out information, making it clear where people can be in safe areas in Gaza.”
Further elaborating on the conditions that led to the broken truce, Blinken cited an “atrocious attack in Jerusalem” that killed three people. He added that the Hamas also fired rockets into Israel before the pause had ended and failed to free hostages it had pledged to release, New York Times reported.
During the seven-day ceasefire, Hamas released several people who had been held hostage since the October 7 attack on Israel. The US remains committed to the release of the remaining hostages. "We're determined to do everything we can to get everyone home, get them reunited with their families, including pursuing the process that worked for seven days,” Blinken said.
According to Reuters, the US has insisted that Israel come up with clear plans to minimize civilian harm in any military operation in southern Gaza, as it continued intense bombardment in regions like Rafah and Khan Younis. Israel's government agreed that any operation in the south should not look like it did in the north and its military will designate areas where civilians will not be harmed.