U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has left the Middle East with largely unachieved goals. After landing in Israel on Thursday, Blinken tried to extend the temporary Israel-Hamas ceasefire, as well as increase the number of Hamas hostage releases. He also reportedly tried to restrict civilian deaths in Gaza. Analysts state that these goals were not met.
Blinken left the Middle East on Friday after the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended. This latest tour was the third Blinken conducted since the Israel-Hamas war began after Hamas’ deadly terrorist attack on Israel soil on Oct. 7. This attack left more than 1,200 Israeli civilians dead and about 240 being taken hostage by Hamas.
Now that this third tour has ended, political analysts state that Blinken’s visit ended with mixed results. Many of his goals have been unachieved. The ceasefire has ended and Israel and Hamas are back to conducting military operations against each other.
Though Israel has stated that they would try to limit Palestinian civilian casualties, one of Blinken’s main goals for this recent Middle East tour, there remains some uncertainty that they will truly do this.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says a "pause" between Israel and Hamas "came to an end because of Hamas".
He adds that there is a focus "on trying to make sure that this conflict doesn't spread, that it doesn't escalate in other places".https://t.co/azb3Yvstiw
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On Friday, Blinken publicly addressed the continued escalations between Israel and Hamas. He said that the ceasefire only ended because of the terrorist organization.
“It came to an end because of Hamas,” he said. “Hamas reneged on commitments it made. In fact, even before the pause came to an end, it committed an atrocious terrorist attack in Jerusalem, killing three people, wounding others, including Americans.”
However, Blinken also stated that the U.S. will continue to try to get more hostages released. There is also a concerted push by many, including Qatar, for another potential ceasefire to occur. This could help more hostages be released by Hamas.
Blinken also publicly talked about Israel following international law. “It’s imperative that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war, even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither.”
After his visit to Israel, Blinken met with various Arab foreign ministers in Dubai. Blinken discussed the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and Gaza concerns with these ministers.