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Blinken says Israel has ‘no choice’ but to cooperate with UN in Gaza

In Europe
January 11, 2024

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israel must cooperate with the United Nations in Gaza to get aid to civilians as Israel enters its fourth month of war with militant group Hamas.

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell pressed Blinken on why there is still a lack of humanitarian aid entering Gaza. Blinken said it’s necessary for Israel to work with the U.N. to get the much-needed aid into Gaza, where 90 percent of the population is eating less than one meal a day.

“It is imperative that Israel work with the United Nations. It’s imperative that this assistance get in, that more of it get in, and that once it gets in, it gets effectively to the people who need it. The United Nations are the only game in town,” Blinken told Mitchell in the interview.

He praised the U.N. for getting aid “to people who need it,” adding that the organization has done “extraordinary things.”

“And it requires cooperation because there’s no alternative. There’s no choice. No one else is gonna do it. And if the U.N. wasn’t doing it, well, it would be Israel’s responsibility to do it. So this is something, again, that we’ve talked about extensively,” Blinken continued.

He added some “real progress” has been made to get humanitarian assistance to Gaza, but Mitchell noted that there are “still bottlenecks” in getting aid to the territory.

“And we’re working through all of them. We’re getting I think more entry points open. We’re gonna get, one of the things that we need to see, is much better deconfliction once assistance is inside of Gaza so that it can move around, so that the U.N. can take it where it needs to go to make sure that they’re going to be safe in doing that,” Blinken responded.

Blinken is traveling to the Middle East again this week to discuss the Israel-Hamas war and to seek a solution on a post-war plan for Gaza. He reiterated earlier this week that Palestinians must be allowed to stay in Gaza and has continuously pushed for a two-state solution.

More than 23,000 Palestinians have died since the war began in October, according to Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths. About 1,200 people died in the initial Hamas attack on Israel, and militants captured more than 200 people as hostages.

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