February 22, 2024

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the soaring number of Palestinians killed as Israel pushed ahead with its war against Hamas in Gaza, saying more needs to be done to protect the civilians. Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian Israeli pauses but said further action was required to protect Gaza’s civilians. He mentioned that far too many Palestinians have been killed, and Washington would be discussing further steps with Israel to advance these objectives. Palestinian officials say more than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its military campaign, and Gaza’s hospitals are struggling to cope. The White House said that Israel agreed to pause military operations in parts of north Gaza for four hours a day, but there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting. Blinken said the United States had concrete plans to get more humanitarian assistance in and steps to ensure more protection for the civilians but achieving those objectives was a process.