Blinken again asks Israel to protect civilians after U.N. shelter attack

The Israeli Army is the only force known to have tanks operating in the Gaza Strip

January 25, 2024 09:58 pm | Updated January 26, 2024 04:03 pm IST - Luanda

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Luanda, Angola on January 25, 2024.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Luanda, Angola on January 25, 2024. | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on January 15 renewed calls for Israel to protect civilians after a deadly strike on a U.N. shelter in Gaza that brought rare U.S. condemnation.

Two tank shells struck the U.N. shelter on Wednesday in Gaza's main southern city of Khan Younis, killing 12 people, according to the United Nations.

Also Read | Plan for one-month Gaza truce makes progress as Israel hits Khan Younis

On a visit to Angola, Mr. Blinken told reporters that the U.N. shelter "is essential and it has to be protected".

"We have reaffirmed this with the government of Israel and it is my understanding that they are, as is necessary and appropriate, looking into this incident," Mr. Blinken said, without saying at what level discussions took place.

The Israeli Army is the only force known to have tanks operating in the Gaza Strip. It said it would conduct a "thorough review" and held out the possibility that the strike was a "result of Hamas fire".

Also Read | Islamist leadership | The men who run Hamas

In contrast with Israel's frequent criticism of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, Mr. Blinken credited the agency for its efforts "to help people who are in desperate need".

"The work that the U.N. is performing in Gaza is quite literally life-saving and no one else can do it — and no one else is doing it," he said.

The war erupted after Hamas militants staged an unprecedented attack inside Israel on October 7 that killed around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli figures.

Israel's relentless military campaign on Gaza since has left at least 25,700 people dead, about 70% of them women, children and adolescents, according to the Hamas government's Health Ministry.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.