Israel Told US ‘Mass Civilian Casualties’ Were Acceptable Price of Gaza Campaign

The Pentagon has said there are 'no limits' on how Israel uses its US-provided weapons despite the massive child death toll

During conversations with Israeli officials, it became clear to the Biden administration that Israel believed “mass civilian casualties” were an acceptable price of the bombing campaign in Gaza, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The Times report said that Israeli officials referred to US and allied bombing campaigns in Germany and Japan during World War II that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. The reference includes the US fire bombings of Japanese cities, which killed around 100,000 civilians in Tokyo in one night in 1945, as well as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Israel’s plans for mass slaughter in Gaza and the growing child death toll have not impacted US support. The Times report focused on how the Biden administration is paying lip service to the idea of limiting civilian casualties, but it acknowledged they’re not telling Israel what to do, only asking questions.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, at least 8,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel unleashed its bombing campaign after the October 7 Hamas attack. The total includes over 3,500 children.

When asked if the US will put limits on Israel’s use of US-provided weapons in light of the child casualties, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said no. “We are not putting any limits on how Israel uses weapons that is provided. That is really up to the Israel Defense Force to use in how they are going to conduct their operations. But we’re not putting any constraints on that,” she said.

President Biden has accused the Palestinians of lying about the death toll, but Gaza’s Health Ministry is considered reliable, and the numbers reflect the massive number of bombs Israel has dropped on the enclave. UN officials told The Wall Street Journal that they believe the death toll is likely much higher since it doesn’t include people still under the rubble.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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