Reporter Tries To Get Kirby To Shift Some Blame Off Hamas; He Doesn’t Bite
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 31: National Security Council Coordinator For Strategic Communications John Kirby talks to reporters at the White House on October 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. Kirby fielded questions from reporters about President Biden's approach to the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel that began with Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel that left more than 1400 people dead. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

ABC News Senior White House correspondent Selina Wang asked John Kirby to explain the factors “beyond Hamas” that were complicating the United States’ efforts to get Americans and other civilians out of Gaza — but Kirby was adamant that Hamas was quite literally the only roadblock.

“Why have Americans and foreign nationals still been unable to get out of Gaza, even though aid trucks have been going in?” Wang asked. “Beyond putting the blame on Hamas, what more can you say what’s going on there and what the progress is?”


Kirby immediately pushed back, saying that Hamas was the only obstacle that needed to be addressed, and he noted that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said the same during a Senate hearing earlier in the day.

“How about if I just put the blame on Hamas?” Kirby countered. “I mean, Secretary Blinken talked about this in his hearing this morning. They are putting obstacles up to allow us to get folks out. It’s not Israel, it’s not Egypt, it’s not places like Jordan. Hamas has been making it difficult to do this.”

Blinken addressed the issue during a Tuesday morning hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, saying that some 400 Americans and their families (approximately 1,000 people) and another 5,000 civilians from other countries were waiting for a safe route out of Gaza, and Hamas terrorists had refused to open the gates and allow them passage.

“We’re working with various parties to try to facilitate their departure from Gaza. The impediment is simple: it’s Hamas,” Blinken said. “We’ve not yet found a way to get them out through whatever place and by whatever means that Hamas is not blocking, but we’re working that with intermediaries.”


“We’re working on it with with Egypt. We’re working on it with Israel. We’re looking for ways to get people out,” Blinken added. “But because Hamas controls what goes on for the most part inside of Gaza, unless it agrees, then it’s going to be very difficult to get that done.”

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