Blinken: Gaza reconstruction will loosen Hamas' foothold

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that "far from empowering Hamas," aiding the reconstruction of Gaza in the wake of Israeli airstrikes "has the potential to undermine" the organization. "I say that because Hamas thrives, unfortunately, on despair, on misery, on desperation, on the lack of opportunity."

Reconstruction and relief efforts, he continued, should not only "answer the immediate needs," but also "offer a genuine prospect for opportunity, for progress, for material improvement in people's lives. And our goal is to give the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, a renewed sense of confidence ... and if we succeed ... then Hamas' foothold in Gaza will slip."

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During his press conference in Jerusalem, Blinken also laid out the U.S.'s general objectives when it comes to the Israel-Palestine question. He reaffirmed Washington's commitment to Israel's security, but the Quincy Institute's Joe Cirincione argued the secretary was also hinting at a reoriented approach that will focus more heavily on strengthening the U.S.'s relationship with the Palestinian people.

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