U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Friday and condemned the vast number of civilian casualties in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Blinken has continued to voice support for Israel as it defends itself following an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7, but says “there is more that can and should be done to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians.”
“Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks,” Blinken said, per CNN.
“We want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them,” he added.
Blinken’s comments came during a press conference in New Delhi following a trip that included stops in Cyprus, Iraq, Israel, India, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and the West Bank, according to the Associated Press.
Ilze Brands Kehris, United Nations assistant secretary-general for Human Rights, spoke on November 6, stating that there have been 10,022 reported deaths in Gaza, most being civilians, and 4,104 were children, according to a UN press release.
During the conference, Blinken said the U.S. would continue to discuss steps that can be taken to help but did not outline specifics.
“No forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza. No use of Gaza as a platform for launching terrorism or other attacks against Israel. No diminution of the territory in Gaza and a commitment to Palestinian land governance for Gaza and the West Bank and in a unified way,” Blinken said, as reported by CNN.
“These and some other ideas that we’ve put forward, and that others share, I think, can start to be the basis for what we need to do.”
One step that has been taken is an agreement announced by Israel on November 9 to a ceasefire for four hours a day in parts of north Gaza, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Blinken said small actions such as these will bring the two sides closer to ending the conflict, adding that peace will not all come at once.
“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,” Blinken said, per Reuters.
Since the conflict first began, officials from the U.S. have stood in solidarity with Israel against the terrorist attack by Hamas.
President Joe Biden released a joint statement alongside leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom on October 9 to say that the “actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned.”
“Our countries will support Israel in its efforts to defend itself and its people against such atrocities,” wrote the leaders in the statement.
Biden also previously requested additional funds from Congress to help “sharpen Israel’s qualitative military edge,” as reported by The Dallas Express.