Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the large civilian death toll in the first two weeks of Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip today, saying “it’s hard” for Israeli troops to avoid killing civilians because the tiny strip is so densely populated. Rice likewise defending the war itself, saying the UN resolution calling for its ending was unacceptable because it treated Israel’s part in the war (killing over 800) with Hamas, which isn’t a member of the United Nations. Israel, Rice insisted, was only defending itself with the enormous civilian toll in Gaza.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was also asked about the growing number of reports about Israel violating international humanitarian law, but insisted that he is “not in a position to contradict” the Israeli government, which has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the massive humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
White House spokesman Scott Stanzel also took questions about the situation in the Gaza Strip, but added little of consequence. He reiterated America’s position that Israel is doing everything in its power to prevent killing innocents, but did concede that the Gaza Strip is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Stanzel never commented directly on the reports of Israel directly attacking civilians across the strip, but seemed content that Israel was behaving appropriately with its ongoing killings.