• Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Are Israel’s Efforts In Protecting Civilians Enough? US Believes So

Dec 6, 2023

White House’s Recognition Of Israel’s Efforts

Amid mounting international concern regarding civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, a senior official from the White House has acknowledged Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian deaths in Gaza. Speaking on a popular US talk show, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby emphasized that the United States believes Israel is actively working towards reducing civilian casualties amidst the ongoing hostilities.

Kirby highlighted Israel’s responsiveness to appeals from the US, referencing the country’s publication of an online map aimed at guiding Gazans to safer locations during the conflict. The discussion comes in the wake of reports alleging a secret Hamas blueprint for the October 7 attack on Israel.

However, Kirby clarified that US intelligence had no prior knowledge of such detailed plans by Hamas. Tensions soared after the October 7 assault by Hamas, during which thousands of terrorists infiltrated Israel from Gaza, resulting in significant casualties and the taking of hostages.

In response, Israel launched a campaign aimed at dismantling Hamas, leading to extensive military operations in Gaza.

Israel’s Response To US Appeals

Israel reportedly adjusted its strategies for operations in southern Gaza in response to concerns raised by the United States. Kirby added that Israel had taken action in response to the United States’ requests to safeguard civilian populations.

Kirby also noted the rarity of modern militaries openly providing safety information for civilians, indicating Israel’s substantial efforts in this regard.

Diplomatic Discussions And Red Cross Access

Kirby faced inquiries regarding the visit of the Red Cross to the remaining hostages, a provision that Israel and the US asserted was part of the truce deal that ended on Friday. Recall that Hamas had committed to permitting the Red Cross access to the hostages during the ceasefire period.

“Regrettably, this agreement was not honored then and remains unfulfilled, which is deemed unacceptable,” Kirby remarked. Meanwhile, reports claim that an unidentified Israeli diplomatic representative mentioned that the IDF had revised and adjusted its plans for extending military actions into the southern Gaza Strip.

The official highlighted the acknowledgment of American input, hinting at forthcoming clarifications regarding these adjustments in the imminent days. Hamas claims that over 15,500 individuals have lost their lives in Gaza since the start of the conflict. However, these figures cannot be independently confirmed.

It’s believed that this tally comprises both civilians and Hamas members, including casualties resulting from misfired rockets by terror groups.

Global Concerns And International Reactions

Nevertheless, amidst diplomatic discussions and continued conflict, global apprehension has amplified over the toll on civilians in Gaza. Leaders such as US Vice President Kamala Harris and World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus voiced deep concern over the civilians’ sufferings and urged an immediate ceasefire.

During an event over the weekend, US Vice President Kamala Harris aligned her remarks with those of administration officials who have urged Israel to alter its approach to the conflict to enhance the safety of civilians. Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin opined that Israel’s efforts to remove Hamas from Gaza would not succeed unless it prioritized protecting civilians.

Austin drew parallels with the US military’s experiences combatting the Islamic State in Iraq.

Ceasefire Breakdown And Ongoing Conflict

During the recent conflict, Israel resumed its extensive air and ground operations after a temporary ceasefire that commenced on November 24. The ceasefire initially showed promise with the release of hostages held by Hamas for nearly 50 days.

However, it collapsed early on a Friday morning as both sides accused each other of violating the truce. The US supported Israel’s claim that Hamas broke the ceasefire agreement, attributing the breakdown to the resumption of hostilities.

While the ceasefire was in effect, 105 individuals were freed from Gaza. This group comprised 23 Thai citizens, 81 Israelis, and 1 Filipino. In return, 210 Palestinian prisoners, all women or minors, gained freedom.

Furthermore, Israel facilitated the entry of humanitarian assistance into the Strip. Ron Dermer, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, emphasized that their endeavors to reduce civilian casualties were purposeful and unparalleled.

With the conflict showing no signs of abating, calls for an urgent ceasefire continue to reverberate on the international stage. More importantly, prioritizing the safety and protection of civilians caught in the crossfire remains a focal point.