We already know that all is not well in US-Israeli relations (despite the ongoing funding) and John Kerry is not helping, but this morning's comments from the White House and Pentagon are concerning. As The BBC reports, the US Defense Dept says civilian casualties in Gaza are "too high" and Israel needs to do more to protect civilian life. Then White House spokesman John Earnest added, "the shelling of a UN facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible." Time to rethink the $576 mllion tripling of Israeli aid?
Since Israel began its offensive in Gaza on 8 July, 1,400 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
It said 173 people had been killed within the past 24 hours.
- *EARNEST REITERATES CALL FOR IMMEDIATE CEASE-FIRE IN GAZA
- *ISRAEL MUST DO MORE TO PREVENT CIVILIAN DEATHS, EARNEST SAYS
- *EARNEST SAYS UN FACILITY ATTACK `TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE'
- *EARNEST SAYS SHELLING OF UN SHELTERS `TOTALLY INDEFENSIBLE'
"The Israelis need to do more to live up to their very high standards... for protecting civilian life," a Pentagon spokesman said.
The UN has also criticised Israel over the worsening situation in Gaza, saying people there are "facing a precipice".
And Bloomberg adds,
“The shelling of a UN facility that is housing innocent civilians who are fleeing violence is totally unacceptable and totally indefensible,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest says at daily briefing.
Says there’s little doubt about whose artillery was involved, pointing to statements by UN, Israel, even though incident still requires full investigation
* * *
Israel says it will not stop its operation in Gaza until all the tunnels - which militants use to infiltrate Israeli territory - have been destroyed. Of course, as we noted previously, this is likely all theatrics as the money and arms are still flowing.