Blinken warns of 'grave' humanitarian situation in Gaza

 Blinken warns of 'grave' humanitarian situation in Gaza
© getty: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Low-lying countries plead for action to avoid climate change 'death sentence' French diplomat says 'time and actions' needed to restore ties with US MORE said on Sunday that Gaza is in a “grave” humanitarian situation following 11 days of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Blinken told host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSurgeon general: 'Our enemy is the virus. It is not one another' Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition' GOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' MORE that reaching a ceasefire agreement was "critical" to ending the fighting.

“Well first George it was critical to get to the ceasefire, and President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE's focus on relentless, determined, but quiet diplomacy is what got us to where we needed to be, which is to get the violence ended as quickly as possible, to stop more human suffering and to at least put ourselves in position to make a turn to make a pivot to building something more positive, that has to start now with dealing with the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Blinken told Stephanopoulos. 

In providing humanitarian aid, Blinken reiterated a notion by President Biden that money not go to Hamas, the ruling political party in the Gaza Strip, pledging instead to work with independent agencies to rebuild the territory. 

“We've worked in the past, and we can continue to work with trusted independent parties that can help do the reconstruction and development, not some quasi-governmental authority. And the fact of the matter is, Hamas has brought nothing but ruin onto the Palestinian people, it's gross mismanagement of Gaza, while it's been in charge. And of course, these indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, which have elicited the response that they did, because Israel has a right to defend itself.” Blinken told Stephanopoulos. 

“So I think what's the real challenge here is to help the Palestinians and particularly to help moderate Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority, deliver better results for their people and of course, Israel has a profound role to play in that too.”