US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that the pause in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict had been ended by Hamas, claiming the terror group had “failed” to fulfill its commitments.
While speaking to the media at Dubai airport, he said: “I have made it clear that after the break it is essential that Israel introduces clear protection measures for civilians and for maintaining humanitarian assistance in the future. And as we saw just today, Israel has already implemented parts of this, including sending information to make it clear where people can stay in safe areas in Gaza. And we will deal with this in the future. This is very, very important.”
He stressed that the end of the break was due to Hamas breaking its commitments, citing a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and the firing of rockets before the end of the break.
“It is also important to understand why the break came to an end. It ended because of Hamas. Hamas has not fulfilled its commitments. In fact, before the break was over, she carried out a horrific terrorist attack in Jerusalem.” Three people were killed and others injured, including Americans. Before the end of the break they began firing rockets. And as I said, they broke their commitments regarding the release of certain hostages.”
Blinken reiterated U.S. support for peace in the region and said the U.S. is focused on the release of Israeli hostages.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to bring everyone home and reunite them with their families, including continuing the process that has been working for seven days. We had a seven day break; seven days of people coming home and being reunited with their families,” he said.
“So we’re at it almost hour by hour. But in the meantime, we have also made it very clear that we support Israel and its efforts to ensure that October 7th never happens again. We have also made the need very clear.” “We want to do this in a way that prioritizes protecting civilians and ensuring that humanitarian assistance reaches those who need it. That’s what we’re focusing on and doing both at the same time,” he added.
“We remain laser-focused on getting everyone home and getting the hostages back. I worked on that today too. So we’re still at it. We’re also very focused, as we have been all along, on trying to make sure that this conflict doesn’t spread, that it doesn’t escalate in other places. But we also use our diplomacy to look not only at what is happening today and how we deal with it, but also at what happens the day after in Gaza and how we can pave the way to a just, lasting and secure peace for Israelis, for Palestinians – actually for everyone in the region – can find. And that’s also a big focus of our diplomacy,” he added.
This statement from US Secretary of State Blinken comes as the agreed ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expired after seven days, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas resumed their war in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning after a week-long ceasefire ended and both sides failed to agree on the release of more hostages held by the Hamas group.
Shortly after the ceasefire ended at 7 a.m. local time, Israeli jets attacked Hamas targets in Gaza.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Blinken held a key meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday (November 30), marking his second visit to the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, CNN reported.
His visit came against the backdrop of increasing violence by Israeli settlers in the region following the October 7 attack on Israel.
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