Biden admin still agrees: Hamas can’t remain in control of Gaza

UN Security Council vote on Gaza ceasefire again delayed after it became clear the US would veto even a toned-down resolution.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 31, 2023. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 31, 2023. Credit: Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department.

Israel remains adamant that the war in Gaza cannot end while Hamas remains in control of the coastal enclave. It’s effective rule of Gaza as well as Hamas’s ability to threaten southern Israel must be destroyed. The administration of US President Joe Biden still agrees with that goal and signaled it would again veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for a long-term or permanent ceasefire in Gaza before Israel’s war aims were achieved.

See related: US leaves open possibility of Hamas retaining power

“Everyone would like to see this conflict end as quickly as possible, but if it ends with Hamas remaining in place and having the capacity and the stated intent to repeat Oct. 7 again and again and again, that’s not in the interest of Israel,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a year-in-review press briefing at the State Department on Wednesday.

Hamas’s survival is “not in the interest of the region. It’s not in the interest of the world,” added Blinken.

America’s top diplomat went further, noting that the war could come to an immediate end if the international community stopped focusing all its pressure on Israel, and instead demanded that Hamas surrender.

“How can it be that there are no demands made of the aggressor and only demands made of the victim?” he asked. “It would be good if there was a strong international voice pressing Hamas to do what’s necessary to end this, and again, that could be tomorrow.”

Blinken did “balance” his remarks by urging Israel to move to a more “low-intensity” campaign focused on targeted military operations, rather than full-scale invasions of Gaza cities. But many in Israel warn that this approach will only prolong the conflict.

The Palestinian Authority meanwhile insists that Hamas can’t realistically be destroyed, nor should it be. Hamas won the last Palestinian general election in 2006, and continues to poll higher than all other factions. Mahmoud Abbas’s regime says any future Palestinian government must include Hamas.