US criticized for hypocrisy of seeking 'pause' amid worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
Published: Nov 03, 2023 09:29 PM Updated: Nov 03, 2023 11:37 PM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg on August 7, 2022.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

As US Secretary of State Antony Blinken started his trip to Israel on Friday, the US has been urged to push for a ceasefire rather than using a "pause" to buy more time for Israel's ground operations in the Gaza Strip, which will result in more casualties. Analysts said that with more catastrophic humanitarian crises occurring, the US bears the responsibility for the bloodshed in Gaza.

Blinken landed in Israel on Friday, the second trip in a month, to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Hamas attack on October 7. Before his departure to the Middle East, Blinken told reporters that he would discuss concrete steps to "minimize harm" to civilians in Gaza and call for localized pauses in fighting to allow humanitarian aid into the region, media reported. 

International criticism and pressure on the US have been mounting due to the increasing death toll in Gaza, and if it does nothing, it will be standing on the opposite site of humanity and the international community, which is why Blinken aims to push for a "humanitarian pause" during this trip, Niu Xinchun, a research fellow at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times. 

Israel may agree with the "pause" suggestion as it would be temporary and restricted to certain spots, for example, to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and foreigners to leave through the Rafah crossing, Niu said. 

However, the humanitarian crisis will continue to deteriorate as Israel is in the early stage of pushing its ground military operation into Gaza and the US' policy of supporting Israel to eliminate Hamas has not changed. More people will die and the situation will worsen, said the expert. 

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Thursday night that Israeli forces were at the "height of the battle." On the same day, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that Gaza City has been encircled nearly a week after its forces expanded ground operations in the Hamas-governed enclave. Hagari also said a "ceasefire is not currently on the table at all," Al Jazeera reported. 

Opposing calls from the global community, including the Arab world and some European countries, the US still refuses to push a ceasefire, saying that Hamas would use a truce to regroup. According to the latest figures from the Hamas health ministry in Gaza, across the Gaza Strip more than 9,000 have been killed, including 3,760 children following relentless Israeli bombardments.

On Thursday, seven UN special rapporteurs issued a statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, expressing their concern that Palestinians face a "grave risk of genocide." Moreover, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday that Israel's air strike on the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza could amount to war crimes given the "high number of civilian casualties" and "the scale of destruction" there.

Many people mocked the US' refusal to push for a ceasefire, saying Blinken's remarks trying to show sympathy for Palestinian children are more like "crocodile tears," as the longer the war goes on, the more children in Gaza will suffer.  

Before flying out of Andrews Air Force Base to Israel, Blinken said that "When I see a Palestinian child - a boy, a girl - pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building, that hits me in the gut as much as seeing a child in Israel or anywhere else… So this is something that we have an obligation to respond to, and we will."

Although more countries have taken diplomatic action, including recalling ambassadors in Israel and even severing ties, Israel will keep carrying out ground operations, analysts said, noting that it can get a victory in the battlefield but only at the cost of its international image, and so will the US, whose double standards and hypocrisy have been fully exposed to the world once again.