Hillary Clinton rebuts calls for ceasefire, says Hamas rule in Gaza must end

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Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for an end to Hamas’ rule in Gaza, further suggesting a ceasefire advocated by some Democratic Party progressives would “perpetuate the cycle of violence” in the war-torn region.

“A full cease-fire that leaves Hamas in power would be a mistake. For now, pursuing more limited humanitarian pauses that allow aid to get in and civilians and hostages to get out is a wiser course,” Clinton wrote in an op-ed in The Atlantic.

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Clinton suggested, would be ineffective if it left the militant group in power in Gaza and gave Hamas “a chance to re-arm and perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

Clinton’s position puts her at odds with some in the left wing of the Democratic Party. Progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have repeatedly called for a ceasefire and raised concerns about the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

However, the former secretary of state is broadly on board with President Joe Biden’s approach to the conflict

Clinton served as secretary of state alongside Biden under former President Barack Obama, with that experience forming a key part of her case against a ceasefire. Following an attack by Hamas in 2012, Clinton worked closely with regional partners to negotiate a ceasefire.

“I was relieved that we’d prevented further bloodshed, but I worried that all we’d really managed to do was put a lid on a simmering cauldron that would likely boil over again in the future,” the former secretary of state wrote.

Two years later, in 2014, Hamas struck again, abducting Israeli hostages and firing rockets at civilians. Therefore, Clinton said, Hamas must now be permanently removed from power.

“October 7 made clear that this bloody cycle must end and that Hamas cannot be allowed to once again retrench, re-arm, and launch new attacks,” she said.

“Cease-fires freeze conflicts rather than resolve them,” Clinton added. “In 2012, freezing the conflict in Gaza was an outcome we and the Israelis were willing to accept. But Israel’s policy since 2009 of containing rather than destroying Hamas has failed.”

“Rejecting a premature cease-fire does not mean defending all of Israel’s tactics, nor does it lessen Israel’s responsibility to comply with the laws of war,” Clinton added, emphasizing the need to minimize Palestinian civilian deaths.

Clinton previously voiced her opposition to a ceasefire, first at a panel discussion at Rice University and then in a TV interview last week.