Blinken: More must be done to prevent Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said more should be done to protect civilian lives in Gaza as Israel continues its bombardment and ground offensive against Hamas in the enclave.
Driving the news: "Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks," Blinken told reporters in New Delhi. "We want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them."
State of play: Blinken welcomed Israel's plan to hold four-hour humanitarian pauses to allow Palestinians in northern Gaza to get supplies or evacuate to the south.
- The Biden administration had pressed Israel in recent days to intermittently suspend the fighting in Gaza for humanitarian reasons.
- Israeli officials resisted calls for the pauses for weeks but began holding them on Thursday.
- President Biden criticized Israel's reluctance to implement the pauses, saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took "a little longer than I hoped" to meet his request for them.
Zoom out: More than 11,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed during Israel's heavy bombardment and ground operation, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza.
- About 1,400 people in Israel were killed in Hamas' Oct. 7 terrorist attack, according to Israeli officials.