US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday condemned the rising number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, in the Gaza Strip, saying “much more needs to be done to protect civilians.”
Speaking to reporters in Delhi at the end of a nine-day tour of the Middle East and Asia, he said “Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks,” according to CNN.
“We want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them,” he said, adding that Washington would discuss further steps with Israel to achieve these goals.
Blinken welcomed Israel’s four-hour humanitarian pause, which the White House announced Thursday, but said more must be done to protect civilians.
Blinken said the US has concrete plans to deliver humanitarian assistance and provide additional protection to civilians, but achieving those goals will take time.
“this is a process, and it’s not always flipping a light switch, but we have seen progress. We just need to see more of it,” he said.
During an unprovoked attack by Hamas terrorists on the border areas of Israel on October 7, 1,200 Israelis were killed, more than 5,400 were wounded and 240 were taken hostage. Israel responded to the Hamas attack with aerial bombardment of the northern Gaza Strip and an Israeli army ground invasion of Gaza.
Gaza’s health ministry, which reports to Hamas, said 10,812 residents had died in Gaza as of Thursday, reported Reuters.