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Business News/ News / World/  Israel-Hamas war: Blinken says 'far too many' Palestinians have died; seeks longer humanitarian pauses
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Israel-Hamas war: Blinken says 'far too many' Palestinians have died; seeks longer humanitarian pauses

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for more to be done to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian assistance reaches Palestinians affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict. Blinken's comments came as he concluded a 9-day diplomatic tour of the Middle East and Asia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives to address the media at the end of the India-US '2+2' ministerial dialogue in New Delhi on November 10 (AFP)Premium
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives to address the media at the end of the India-US '2+2' ministerial dialogue in New Delhi on November 10 (AFP)

Israel-Hamas war: The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said that “far too many" Palestinians have died and suffered as Israel wages a relentless war against Hamas group in the Gaza Strip. 

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Blinken said recent Israeli moves to improve dire conditions in Gaza as its military pushes deeper into the strip — including pauses in military operations to allow Palestinians to move from northern to southern Gaza and the creation of a second safe corridor — are positive but they are not nearly enough.

“Much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to make sure that humanitarian assistance reaches them," he said. "Far too many Palestinians have been killed, far too many have suffered these past weeks, and we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them."

Blinken spoke as he wrapped up an intense nine-day diplomatic tour of the Middle East and Asia — his second frenetic Mideast trip since the war began with Hamas' deadly incursion into southern Israel on 7 October. 

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Blinken said the US has come up with additional proposals how better to protect civilians but did not elaborate.

US officials have said they would like to see Israel introduce longer “humanitarian pauses" in areas beyond the two established safe passage and exponentially expand the amount of assistance getting into Gaza from Egypt by increasing the flow of truck convoys.

The US also remains resolute to secure the release of Israeli and other hostages held by Hamas, get all foreigners who want to leave Gaza out, prevent the violence from spreader to the broader region, and to begin planning for what a post-conflict Gaza will look like, Blinken said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv last Friday rejected the idea of “humanitarian pauses," saying military pressure on Hamas could not be eased.

“We are going full steam ahead," Netanyahu said shortly after Blinken warned that Palestinians were being driven toward further radicalism that could perpetuate the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict and leave Israel at greater risk.

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Published: 10 Nov 2023, 07:19 PM IST
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