State Department Memo Tells Diplomats: No Gaza ‘De-Escalation’ Talk

The directive was given after Israel told 1.1 million Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza

The State Department has warned its diplomats not to call for de-escalation or an end to the violence as Israeli airstrikes relentlessly hit Gaza, killing hundreds of children.

In a message circulated Friday in emails viewed by HuffPost, the State Department said that high-level officials do not want these three phrases in press materials: “de-escalation/ceasefire,” “end to violence/bloodshed,” and “restoring calm.”

The State Department’s orders demonstrate how strongly the US is backing Israel’s onslaught on Gaza despite the massive civilian death toll. The White House has also disparaged calls for de-escalation.

When asked about calls for a ceasefire made by some progressive Democrats, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We believe they are wrong, we believe they’re repugnant, and we believe they’re disgraceful.”

The State Department directive was given after Israel told 1.1 million Palestinians in north Gaza to evacuate to the south. Some Palestinians who attempted to flee the north were hit by Israeli airstrikes.

BBC confirmed one incident where Israeli bombs hit a convoy headed south and counted at least 12 dead bodies in a video, mostly women and children. The Palestinian Health Ministry said 70 people were killed in attacks on fleeing Palestinians.

Since Israel unleashed its bombing campaign on Gaza after the October 7 Hamas attack, at least 2,239 Palestinians have been killed, including 734 children and 458 women. About 10,000 people have been wounded, and Gaza’s hospitals are at a breaking point as they are not receiving supplies or fuel to power generators.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.