Blinken Affirms Report Criticizing Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared to support a State Department report that said that it was “reasonable to assess” that Israel had violated international law during its current campaign in Gaza. The statement came as tensions between the Biden administration and Israel increased, including following the delay of a shipment of arms.

“Given the totality of what we’ve seen in terms of civilian suffering; in terms of children, women, men caught in the crossfire of Hamas’ making — who have been killed and injured, it’s reasonable to assess that in a number of instances, Israel has not acted in a manner that’s consistent with international humanitarian law,” Blinken said.

“Israel has the ability, the means and the actions to self-correct,” he said during a weekend press interview.

“The only thing that we’ve delayed and are holding back are these high payload [most powerful] bombs because we’re in an ongoing conversation with Israel, given the impact that those weapons can have when they’re used in densely populated areas,” said Blinken.

The secretary of state also said that the United States would not support such an attack without a “credible” plan for civilians.

The Biden administration received considerable criticism from congressional Republicans and some Democrats following reports that it delayed munitions shipments to Israel.

Last week President Joe Biden said that further weapons shipments could be delayed if Israel attacked Hamas’ last major stronghold of Rafah. The word also comes as the United States reportedly held back intelligence regarding Hamas leaders, tying the information to whether or not Israel struck Rafah.

Despite the pressure from the Biden administration, the Israeli government approved an attack on Rafah last week. The move also came as Israel captured several key areas around the city, including a crucial border crossing.

The restriction on aid also led to major ripples in Congress. House Republicans introduced a bill that would require the administration to promptly deliver aid that Congress approved. Furthermore, Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) introduced articles of impeachment against Biden for delaying the promised weapons.