The US State Department, through its spokesperson Matt Miller, has recently expressed concerns about the disparity between Israel's stated intentions and the actual outcomes in protecting Gaza civilians. During a CNN interview on Thursday, Miller highlighted this discrepancy, pointing out that the results in Gaza do not align with the Israeli government's declared objectives.
This comment comes in the context of the United States' consistent support for Israel's military actions against Hamas in Gaza. However, the prolonged Israeli strikes in the region, which have resulted in significant civilian casualties, have strained relations between the US and Israeli administrations.
Diverging Approaches and Military Statements
In late 2020, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel and acknowledged the Israeli government’s recognition of the need to safeguard civilians while conducting military operations in Gaza.
According to Miller, Israel has taken several steps to reduce civilian harm, and the US will continue to encourage further efforts in this direction. The issue of civilian safety in Gaza has been a focal point of contention between the administrations of US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
President Biden has repeatedly emphasized the importance of precise military operations aimed at minimizing civilian casualties, warning of the declining global support for Israel's military campaign. In response, Israeli military officials have stated their commitment to minimizing civilian harm, dedicating significant resources to this end.
They also assert that Hamas is responsible for endangering civilians by using them as human shields. Further complicating the situation, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced the killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's chief of operational staff in northern Gaza, Mamdouh Lolo.
According to the IDF, Lolo was a key figure in planning and executing attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. This operation is a part of Israel’s ongoing efforts against militant groups in Gaza, distinct from Hamas.