Israel has rejected a call for a ceasefire from President Joe Biden, noting it’s not the time to pull back, as the Middle East’s most enduring democracy faces attacks from Hamas.
“I don’t think it’s the time to talk about the calls for a ceasefire,” Israeli Foreign Affairs ministry spokesman Lior Haiat told reporters Wednesday. “There’s nothing really to talk about,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced he would send the State Department’s top official for Israel and Palestinian Affairs to attempt to work toward a ceasefire, according to The New York Times.
“These people of darkness, these Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, have blood on their hands,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday during a visit to a hospital where children injured in the rocket attacks received treatment.
“An hour ago, we assassinated senior commanders in Hamas’s headquarters, including the commander of Gaza City and other commanders. This is just the beginning. We will hit them with strikes they have never dreamed of,” he added.
Biden has sought to deescalate the situation in Israel. Blinken has noted, however, the “very clear and absolute distinction between a terrorist organization, Hamas that is indiscriminately raining down rockets, in fact, targeting civilians” and Israeli operations, according to a Bloomberg report.
“But whenever we see civilian casualties, and particularly when we see children caught in the crossfire losing their lives, that has a powerful impact,” Blinken added Wednesday.
“And I think Israel has an extra burden in trying to do everything it possibly can to avoid civilian casualties, even as it is rightfully responding in defense of its people.”