US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting earlier today that for the rest of his life, he will “think about the thousands of children who were killed in Gaza,” Channel 13 reports.
According to the report, Blinken made the comments during a discussion about the civilian victims of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has said that since the start of the war, more than 27,500 people have been killed inside the enclave, the majority of them civilians. These figures cannot be independently verified, however, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. Israel says the IDF has killed over 10,000 Hamas operatives in Gaza.
Saying that he is “shocked by October 7,” when Hamas terrorists slaughtered 1,200 people in southern Israel and abducted over 250, and is “committed to preventing such a thing from happening again,” Blinken reportedly said that, nevertheless, the reality of the matter is that “entire families that are not connected to Hamas were harmed” amid the fighting.
Netanyahu is said to have responded that the blame for civilian casualties lies with Hamas, as it “operates from within the civilian population.”