Blinken: Cease-Fire While Hamas Still Intact Will Simply Perpetuate the Problem

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

On Friday, the United States stood alone, vetoing a United Nations resolution that demanded an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. The U.S. was the sole “no” vote on the resolution, while 13 countries on the Security Council, including France and Japan, voted in favor of it, and the United Kingdom abstained. 

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined ABC’s “This Week” and spoke with Martha Raddatz regarding the Israel-Hamas War. Blinken spoke to the strings attached by the U.S. to weapons provided to assist Israel. He also referred to a “gap between the intent and results” of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, and efforts to close that gap. 

One point on which Blinken remained steadfast, however, was that Hamas cannot be allowed to remain intact — that allowing that will simply perpetuate the problem.

Asked by Raddatz about the U.S. being the sole vote against the U.N. cease-fire resolution, Blinken responded: 

“We have been a strong proponent of humanitarian pauses — in fact, because of our advocacy, because of the work we did, we got pauses…on a daily basis, to make sure that people could get out of the way, that humanitarian supplies could get in. We helped negotiate the longer pause that resulted in the release of more than 110 hostages, and that also allowed a doubling of the humanitarian assistance that was getting into Gaza. 

“But when it comes to a ceasefire at this moment – with Hamas still alive, still intact, and, again, with the stated intent of repeating October 7th again and again and again — that would simply perpetuate the problem. 

“And so, our focus is on trying to make sure that civilians are protected to the maximum extent possible; that humanitarian assistance gets in to the maximum extent possible. And, again, if Hamas were to put down its weapons tomorrow, surrender tomorrow, this would be over tomorrow.”

No word from the “Cease-fire now!” crowd as to when/whether we can expect Hamas to lay those weapons down. 


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