01 March 2024,   22:45
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Israel has an obligation to do everything possible to put a premium on protecting civilians - Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that there remains a gap between Israel’s intent to protect civilians and results on the ground in Gaza.

“We stand here almost a week into this campaign in the south, after the end of the humanitarian pause, it remains imperative that Israel put a premium on civilian protection”, Blinken said during a news conference in Washington with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

“And there does remain a gap between exactly what I said when I was there, the intent to protect civilians, and the actual results that we"re seeing on the ground. There are a number of things that we think it would be important to really focus on not only having the safe areas but making sure that the communications are such that people know where they can go, when they can go there safely, making very clear when the periods of being able to move from one place to another are in place.

The US is talking with the Israelis on a regular basis. Israel has an obligation to do everything possible to put a premium on protecting civilians and maximizing humanitarian assistance”, - he said.

On post-war Gaza, Blinken said the US has been very clear on the importance of Palestinians having responsibility and control of Gaza, and ultimately being joined in control of the West Bank: “And the best way to do that is through two states. Now, there are going to be very challenging questions of security, of governance, of reconstruction that we have to address”.

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