Far too many Palestinians have been killed in Gaza: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
New Delhi, Nov 10 (PTI) Far too many Palestinians have been killed and far too many have suffered in the last few weeks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday, in one of the most severe condemnations of the civilian death toll in Gaza due to an Israeli military offensive.
At a media briefing at the end of the India-US '2+2' ministerial dialogue, the top US diplomat said more needs to be done to minimise the harm to Palestinian civilians, in remarks that came amid a growing outcry over the death of innocent civilians in Gaza.
'Far too many Palestinians have been killed, far too many have suffered these past weeks. And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximise the assistance that gets to them,' Blinken said.
'To that end, we will be continuing to discuss with Israel concrete steps that can be taken to advance these objectives. We will continue to focus relentlessly on getting our hostages home,' he added.
Israel has been carrying out a massive military offensive in Gaza following unprecedented and multi-pronged attacks on Israeli cities by Hamas militants on October 7.
Hamas has killed around 1,400 people in Israel and abducted more than 220. Around 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the Israeli offensive since the attacks by Hamas, according to Hamas-run authorities in Gaza.
At a separate media briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said the Hamas-Israel conflict figured prominently at the '2+2' dialogue.
'Among regional developments, three sets of things discussed included developments in the Middle East. Both sides shared their perspectives of their concerns, how they look at the situation and various elements of the developing situation,' he said.
'From India's perspective, we have always stood for a two-State solution (to the Palestine issue) and an early resumption of dialogue,' Kwatra said, noting that when the hostilities started, India had condemned the horrific terror attacks (by Hamas).
'We have asked for a strict observance of international humanitarian law, de-escalation of the situation and condemned the civilian casualties,' he said.
In his remarks at the media briefing, Blinken said the US will continue to focus on expanding humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza.
'We will continue to focus on expanding humanitarian assistance that gets into Gaza and reaches people in effective ways. And we will continue to focus on the steps that can be taken now to try to start to set the foundation for durable and lasting peace, which, as we have said repeatedly and believe, has to include two States for two peoples,' he said.
A joint statement on the '2+2' dialogue said both the US and India expressed their commitment to continue coordinating with partners in the region on humanitarian assistance.
'Noting the horrific terrorist attacks against Israel, the ministers reiterated that India and the United States stand with Israel against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including with regard to the protection of civilians,' it said.
They called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages. 'The ministers committed to continue coordinating with partners in the region on humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of Palestinian civilians in Gaza,' the statement said.
'They expressed support for humanitarian pauses and committed to continue close diplomatic coordination, including with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East and work toward a political solution and durable peace,' it added. PTI MPB RC
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.