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Blinken urges Israel to craft post-war Gaza plan, warns of chaos

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By Humeyra Pamuk

CHISINAU, Moldova (Reuters) – U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday urged Israel to come up with a post-war plan for Gaza and warned that the absence of it could trigger lawlessness, chaos and a comeback by Hamas in the enclave.

Blinken, speaking at a press conference in Moldova, said that while Israel has had real success in destroying the capacity of Hamas to repeat an attack such as the one that occurred on Oct. 7, the Israeli government now had to ask whether further gains against Hamas would be durable without a post-war plan.

He cited the added difficulty of Hamas being closely embedded with civilians.

“And I think this underscores the imperative of having a plan for the day after because in the absence of a plan for the day after there won’t be a day after,” Blinken said.

“If not, Hamas will be left in charge, which is unacceptable. Or if not, we’ll have chaos, lawlessness, and a vacuum.”

Israel’s three-week-old Rafah offensive stirred renewed outrage after an airstrike on Sunday ignited a blaze in a tent camp in a western district, killing at least 45 people.

Israel said it had targeted two senior Hamas operatives in a compound and had not intended to cause civilian casualties.

Blinken said on Wednesday he could not verify whether U.S.-supplied weapons were used by Israel in its latest deadly attack in Rafah, adding that what weapons were used and how would have to be the object of an investigation into the attack.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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