Hamas Blamed For Cease-Fire Breakdown, Continued Crisis In Gaza

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby is placing the blame squarely on Hamas for the breakdown of the temporary cease-fire agreement with Israel. Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Kirby told host Shannon Bream that the United States believes that Hamas is responsible for ending the pause in hostilities the two parties had agreed to from the 24th to 29th.

Kirby pointed out that the end of the ceasefire puts more lives in danger as he emphasized the issue of American citizens still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

“We just don’t have perfect visibility. We’re at this literally by the hour, and we want to get that [cease-fire] put back in place so that, again, more hostages can come out,” he stated, speaking about the eight or nine Americans, including a woman whose condition and whereabouts remain unknown.

The cease-fire, which lasted for a week and expired on Friday, had allowed for the release of dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. However, the situation took a dire turn when Israel recalled its negotiators, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed the Israel Defense Force to the challenging task of removing Hamas from power in Gaza.

During the interview, Kirby also addressed remarks from Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY), who criticized U.S. military aid to Israel. In defense of the aid, he emphasized that it supports Israel in facing a genuine and genocidal threat posed by Hamas.

“And I think it’s just too easy as we get further and further and further away from the 7th of October to forget what happened on that day: 1,200 Israeli literally slaughtered, kids in front of their parents, parents in front of their kids. And we’ve got to help Israel eliminate their threat to the Israeli nation and the Israeli people from that threat, from Hamas, and we’re going to keep doing that, absolutely,” he added.

Recognizing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Kirby acknowledged that Israeli forces have adjusted their operations to minimize civilian casualties even though Hamas militants continue to use civilians as shields in key infrastructure and safe zones.

However, in acknowledgment of the high number of civilian casualties and the displacement of a million people within Gaza, he stated that the U.S. government is fully aware of the humanitarian crisis and has been working diligently to secure the cease-fire, allowing for the release of hostages and the accelerated delivery of food, water, medicine and fuel to Gaza.

Kirby’s statement comes after a total of six days’ pause in hostilities between Hamas and Israel saw the release of over 100 Israeli hostages and over 200 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. As the situation in Gaza remains volatile, Israel has ordered further evacuations in and around Khan Younis while heavy bombardment continues. The military’s offensive has shifted to the southern part of the territory, where Israeli officials believe Hamas leaders are hiding.