Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenDavid Azagury, U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

US 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 such a plan could trigger lawlessness, chaos and a comeback by Hamas.

Speaking at a press conference in Moldova and quoted by Reuters, Blinken 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 October 7, the Israeli government now had to ask whether further gains against Hamas would be durable without a post-war plan.

Citing the added difficulty of Hamas being closely embedded with civilians, the Secretary of State said, "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."

"If not, Hamas will be left in charge, which is unacceptable. Or if not, we'll have chaos, lawlessness, and a vacuum," he warned.

Blinken also said he could not verify whether US-supplied weapons were used by Israel in the recent strike in Rafah, adding that what weapons were used and how would have to be the object of an investigation into the attack.

His comments come amid disagreements between the US and Israel over plans for the day after the war in Gaza, as well as over Israel’s operation in Rafah.

The White House recently confirmed it had paused a shipment of bombs to Israel due to US opposition to a planned Israeli attack on the Gazan city of Rafah.

The shipment which was paused was supposed to consist of 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs, a US official told The Associated Press last week.

A day later, President Joe Biden warned that he would halt shipments of American weapons to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders a major invasion of the city of Rafah.

Subsequently, however, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration notified Congress that it is moving forward with more than $1 billion in new weapons deals for Israel.

Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder told Channel 13 News last week that the US has not yet decided whether to transfer to Israel the weapons shipment that was recently delayed.