(Washington) The White House estimated on Sunday that Israel “does[sait] efforts” to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza since fighting resumed after a seven-day truce, as calls from the international community to protect Palestinian civilians intensify.
“We think they have been receptive to our messages about trying to minimize civilian casualties,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told ABC.
The Israeli army has resumed its offensive in northern Gaza “in a smaller and more precise way”, he added, noting that over the past two days, Israel had published online a map of where civilians could be surrender to find refuge and flee the fighting.
“There aren’t many modern militaries that would do that,” Mr. Kirby continued. “They are making an effort.”
The war was sparked by an unprecedented attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7, which left 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, according to authorities.
In retaliation, Israel carried out devastating bombings against the Palestinian territory, where it launched a ground offensive on October 27.
More than 15,200 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the conflict, “70% of them women and children”, according to a latest report from the Hamas government.
“Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed,” American Vice President Kamala Harris insisted on Saturday from COP28 in Dubai, alarmed by “devastating” images from Gaza.
She thus called on “Israel” to “do more to protect innocent civilians”.
The “security” of Israel cannot be guaranteed if it “comes at the cost of Palestinian lives,” French President Emmanuel Macron said at the same event.
John Kirby also insisted on the fact that the American intelligence services had a priori “no knowledge” of the Hamas plan to carry out the October 7 attack.
Israeli officials had obtained the Palestinian Islamist movement’s plan to carry out an unprecedented attack against Israel more than a year in advance, but deemed the scenario unrealistic, the Israeli news agency reported Thursday. New York Times.
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that there had clearly been “intelligence failures regarding October 7” and they would “review them,” Mr. Kirby said.