Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart on Wednesday amid Israel’s new bombing campaign in Gaza and reaffirmed the US’s “ironclad commitment” to Israel.
“Secretary Austin conveyed the Department’s ironclad support for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, and he strongly condemned the launching of rockets by Hamas and other terrorists groups that targeted Israeli civilians,” the Pentagon said in a readout of the call.
The US has failed to condemn or even really address the Palestinian children that have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Austin also “reiterated the importance of all involved parties to take steps to restore calm.” But Israel appears to be set on escalating the situation and has rejected a truce offer from Hamas.
Also on Wednesday, President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the White House, Biden “conveyed his unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”
While Biden mentioned “protecting civilians,” he said nothing of the Palestinian children killed by Israel but made sure he “condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups.” Biden also conveyed the US’s “encouragement of a pathway toward restoring a sustainable calm.” But again, the Israelis show no sign of seeking a de-escalation. On Wednesday night, Israel’s security cabinet approved of an escalation of airstrikes in Gaza.