Blinken Slams Israel's War Effort: 'Get Out of Gaza'

Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken (Getty Images)
May 13, 2024

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday slammed Israel’s war effort against Hamas, urging the Jewish state to "get out of Gaza" and accusing the Israel Defense Forces of violating international humanitarian law.

An Israeli military operation in Rafah, the last major Hamas stronghold in Gaza, may have some "initial success" but would ultimately be unsustainable and leave the Israelis "holding the bag on an enduring insurgency," Blinken said during an NBC appearance on Sunday, according to National Review

"[This is] because a lot of armed Hamas will be left, no matter what [the Israelis] do in Rafah, or if they leave and get out of Gaza, as we believe they need to do," Blinken added. "Then you’re going to have a vacuum and a vacuum that’s likely to be filled by chaos, by anarchy, and ultimately by Hamas again."

The secretary of state also cited a Friday report by his State Department in arguing "it was reasonable to assess that, in certain instances, Israel acted in ways that are not consistent with international humanitarian law." The report, however, "did not find any specific instances of Israel misusing American weapons to back those allegations," National Review reported on Friday.

Blinken’s remarks came after President Joe Biden last week faced a barrage of criticism by announcing the United States would stop supplying certain weapons to Israel should the Jewish state choose to enter Rafah. The Biden administration has reportedly already paused a shipment of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs to Israel.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to Biden’s threat said on Thursday that Israel would continue to "defeat our enemy and those who want to destroy us" regardless of U.S. support.

"If we need to stand alone, we will stand alone. I have said that, if necessary, we will fight with our nails. But we have much more than nails, and with that same strength of spirit—with God’s help—together, we will win," Netanyahu added.

Israel’s war cabinet on Thursday also voted to expand its military’s planned operation in Rafah, days after the IDF ordered around 100,000 Palestinian civilians to evacuate eastern Rafah immediately and head to a nearby Israel-declared humanitarian zone.