O Palestinian Islamist group Hamas condemned, this Wednesday, the visit of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to the city of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, and to Israel.
“The purpose of the visit is to support the security of the occupation. There are no differences between Israel and the Americans,” the movement’s spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, told Reuters.
In a statement, Hamas considered that Blinken’s presence in the region “reflects the level of involvement of the United States in these crimes and the transversal violations of all international laws committed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip”.
“Blinken’s attempts to justify the genocide committed by the Israeli occupation army against Palestinian civilians – saying that Palestinian resistance is concentrated among civilians – are miserable attempts to wash the hands of the criminal occupation of the blood of Gaza’s children, women and elderly.” , he added.
The US Secretary of State arrived in Israel as part of a new tour of the Middle East region, during which he also visited Arab countries and reaffirmed Washington’s support for the right of Israelis to defend themselves against Hamas attacks, but urged caution in response and retaliation.
“The Secretary of State reiterated the need to guarantee lasting and sustainable peace for Israel and the region”, which for the US also involves the recognition of a Palestinian state, US diplomacy reported.
On this trip, Blinken also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, whom he praised for his leadership capacity in “incredibly complicated” times.
The agenda of the head of US diplomacy in Israeli territory also included meetings with families of hostages who remain in captivity in the Gaza Strip, whose release Blinken demanded again on Tuesday.
On October 7, fighters from Hamas – in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007 and classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel – carried out an attack on Israeli territory of unprecedented proportions since the creation of the State of Israel, in 1948, causing 1,139 deaths, most of them civilians, according to the most recent report by Israeli authorities, and around 250 hostages, of which more than 120 remain in captivity.
In retaliation, Israel declared a war to “eradicate” Hamas, which began with cuts to the supply of food, water, electricity and fuel in the Gaza Strip and daily bombings, followed by a ground offensive in the north of the territory, which meanwhile extended South.
The war between Israel and Hamas has so far killed more than 23,000 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them civilians, according to the latest report from local authorities.
In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, at least 315 Palestinians have been killed since October 7 by Israeli forces and in attacks carried out by settlers.
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