Israel to Blinken, Sullivan: Defeating Hamas Is the Priority

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, listens as National Security Adviser Jake Sulliva
Frederic J. Brown/Pool via AP

Israeli government spokesman David Mencer said Wednesday that it was difficult to discuss plans for “the day after” the war in Gaza until Hamas had been completely defeated and the Israeli hostages had been rescued or released.

Mencer was responding to recent comments by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about the need for Israel to develop a plan for governance in Gaza after the war. Sullivan is due to visit Saudi Arabia and Israel later this week.

Mercer said that Israel had been “as specific as we can be about what will happen the day after Hamas. It needs to be the day after Hamas. Hamas needs to be defeated. They are not defeated yet.”

He added: “We believe that some of our hostages are in Rafah,” and noted ongoing efforts to free them. Mercer also noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had laid out some ideas for post-Hamas Gaza in various interviews.

Mencer aso responded to a statement earlier in the day by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Israeli operation in Rafah had thus far had a “negative impact.”

While reiterating the importance of the U.S. alliance with Israel, Mencer said: “Yes, indeed, it has had a negative impact for the Hamas fighters and terrorists who are in Rafah.”

“We are eliminating their structures, we are eliminating their fighting force, we are eliminating their ability to threaten us in any way with their terror tactics.”

He added that “we want civilians to move out of harm’s way,” and noted the extensive efforts that Israel has made to warn civilians in Rafah and elsewhere before launching attacks.

In his opening remarks, Mencier also cited a report Tuesday from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in which drone footage showed terrorists operating inside a compound belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in eastern Rafah.

The video, he noted, showed “armed terrorists shooting from within an UNRWA compound alongside UN vehicles.” He demanded: “What were the terrorists doing inside an UNRWA logistics compound, and alongside UN vehicles?”

He noted that Israel had also found and attacked a Hamas “war room” embedded inside a UNRWA school. The terrorists inside the facility were among the forces that had carried out the October 7 terror attack, he said.

Mencer also reiterated Israel’s opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state, or an upgrade in the status of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, which would be seen as a reward for the terror of October 7.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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