US State Department Warns Diplomats Against Calling for ‘End to Violence’ in Gaza
As tensions in the Middle East continue to escalate, a revelation about the US State Department’s approach to the crisis has come to light. The development indicates a reluctance on the part of the Biden administration to push for the de-escalation of the Israel-Hamas war.
Internal emails obtained by undisclosed sources revealed that the US State Department discourages its diplomats working on Middle East issues from making public statements that call for a reduction in violence.
This reluctance to openly advocate for de-escalation and peace suggests a departure from the previous US stance on Middle East conflicts.
Israel has instructed over 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza to leave their homes, signalling a potential ground invasion. The United Nations has warned of devastating humanitarian consequences if such an invasion occurs.
US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby declined to either support or reject Israel’s evacuation order, describing it as a tall order. Secretary of State Antony Blinken deleted and replaced a social media post in which he had mentioned Turkey’s call for a ceasefire.
When asked about the directive discouraging diplomats from making public statements and the reluctance to discuss a ceasefire, a State Department official declined to comment on internal communications.
Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza have so far killed at least 2,215 Palestinians and wounded 8,714, with a significant number of casualties being women and children.
In the past 24 hours, more than 320 Palestinians, including many women and children, on convoys attempting to leave Gaza City were killed by Israeli forces, according health officials.
The number of people killed in Israel stands at 1,300, with more than 3,400 wounded.
As Israel ramps up its bombardment of Gaza and civilian death toll continues to rise, a group of 55 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter, urging President Biden to communicate that Israel’s response in Gaza must adhere to international law and take all necessary measures to minimise harm to innocent civilians.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel on Thursday. He is also touring influential Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, and Qatar, which have traditionally played central roles in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Blinken met with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, during his visit, despite longstanding differences with Hamas. He discussed US efforts to prevent the conflict from escalating further, extended condolences to the families of Palestinian civilian victims, and reiterated that Hamas does not represent the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to dignity, freedom, justice, and self-determination.
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