Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Israel that it doesn’t have the “credit” to carry out the necessary military campaign against Hamas.
The Biden administration won’t tolerate a large-scale bombing campaign in southern Gaza over several months.
Blinken’s comments were leaked to the Israeli press. The Times of Israel cited a transcript of his meeting with Israel’s war cabinet:
BLINKEN: You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are two million Palestinians there. You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit UN facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas [for civilians]. And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population. What is your system of operation?
IDF Chief Herzi Halevi: We follow a number of principles — proportionality, distinction, and the laws of war. There were instances where we attacked on the basis of those principles, and instances where we decided not to attack, because we waited for a better opportunity.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant: The entire Israeli society is united behind the goal of dismantling Hamas, even if it takes months.
BLINKEN: I don’t think you