US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made a strong statement regarding the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, comparing Hamas’ assault on Israel to ten 9/11 attacks. Blinken made these remarks during a visit to Tel Aviv, where he expressed support for Israel’s response to the attack. He promised that the United States would stand by Israel for as long as America exists.
Blinken highlighted the severity of the situation by stating, “If you look at [the attack] in proportion to the size of Israel’s population, this is the equivalent of ten 9/11s.” He emphasized the devastating impact of the assault on Israel. However, it is important to note that he did not mention the significant number of Palestinian casualties in his speech.
Since Hamas launched its attack on Saturday, the death toll in Israel has risen to 1,300, with over 3,000 people wounded. In Gaza, more than 1,400 Palestinians, including 447 children, have been killed, and around 5,000 others have been wounded. Israeli warplanes continue to bomb Gaza, causing these figures to increase.
The comparison to the 9/11 attacks is significant as it reminds us of the immense tragedy and loss of life experienced during those terrorist acts. The attacks on September 11, 2001, resulted in the deaths of 2,996 people when four commercial airliners were hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists. The twin towers of the World Trade Center were hit, the Pentagon was targeted, and another plane crashed in Pennsylvania.
Following the 9/11 attacks, the United States launched military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. These actions were justified by then-President George W. Bush invoking 9/11 as a reason to respond. This led to significant consequences, including the expansion of domestic surveillance operations and the enactment of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has since been used for military operations in multiple countries.
In response to Hamas’ assault, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “crush” the Palestinian militants, while Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has declared that the Israeli military will “wipe them off the face of the Earth.” However, it is important to recognize that the vast majority of casualties in Gaza are civilians. The blockade imposed by Israel has further exacerbated the situation, with limited access to essential resources such as food, water, electricity, and fuel.
During his visit, Blinken urged Netanyahu to take precautions to avoid harming civilians. He acknowledged the right of Israel to defend itself and prevent such attacks in the future, but also emphasized the importance of protecting innocent lives.
The ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel continues to escalate, with no immediate resolution in sight. The international community must strive to de-escalate tensions and find a peaceful solution that ensures the safety and well-being of all civilians affected by the conflict. The comparison to 9/11 serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of violence and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution. The United States, along with other nations, must actively work towards achieving lasting peace in the region.