US' Blinken says Israel is taking 'important steps' to protect civilians in Gaza

'What we’re seeing is areas clearly designated by Israel that are safe areas where there’s not going to be firing,' Blinken tells CNN

09:57 - 7/12/2023 Thursday
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said Israel is taking "important steps" to protect civilians as it continues its offensive into southern Gaza

Calling the killing of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza "gut-wrenching,” Blinken said "important steps" are being taken by Israel as they’re beginning to operate in southern Gaza.

"I said to them very clearly when I was there just a week ago: We cannot have a repeat of what happened in the north in the south in terms of harm being done to civilians, and also making sure that humanitarian assistance is getting to people who need it, who are in desperate need of food, of water, of shelter," he said in an interview with CNN.

"So what we’re seeing is areas clearly designated by Israel that are safe areas where there’s not going to be firing, or the military," he said.

"We’ve seen efforts to make sure that people know that they need to move and not in – not the entire city, but just discrete neighborhoods. So that’s positive," he added.

Adding that more needs to be done, he said Israel needs to make sure that people have safe corridors to get from areas that could be in danger to places where they’ll be safe.

The areas where they are going need to have the proper resources, food, water, and medicine, Blinken said.

"So there are a number of things that that need to happen. We’re on this with them every single day," he added.

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip last week after the end of a weeklong humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas.

At least 16,248 Palestinians have been killed and more than 43,616 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since Oct. 7 following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stands at 1,200, according to official figures.

#Secretary of State Antony Blinken
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