The US has no plans to restrict military aid to Israel or draw any red lines on Israel’s use of US-provided munitions despite President Biden labeling Israel’s bombing of Gaza “indiscriminate” and the massive civilian death toll, US officials told CNN.
One official said the US does not consider the death of civilians a violation of the laws of war unless they are purposefully targeted. A report from +972 Magazine revealed that Israel is intentionally targeting civilians as part of a strategy to put pressure on Hamas, but the Biden administration is still claiming Israel is taking steps to mitigate civilian casualties.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby claimed on Wednesday that Israel “stated their intent to reduce civilian casualties. And they have acted on that.” When pressed on President Biden’s comments calling Israel’s bombing campaign “indiscriminate,” Kirby refused to say if that was the US government’s official position.
“The President was expressing concerns — again, as I said — about the civilian casualties that we’ve seen. And, again, it’s reflective of our constant efforts to urge the Israelis to be as precise and careful as possible,” Kirby said.
In the same speech where Biden called the Israeli bombing “indiscriminate,” he vowed to continue supporting the campaign.
While US officials have been expressing “concern” about civilian casualties, the administration is not using any leverage it has over Israel to force them to change their tactics. Israel dropped more than 22,000 US-provided bombs on Gaza in just the first month and a half of the operation, demonstrating how reliant the Israeli military is on US support.
The US officials speaking to CNN also said the US was not conducting real-time assessments of each Israeli strike to see what weapons were used and how many civilians were killed. They said doing so would be “nearly impossible” due to the sheer number of Israeli bombings.
So far, the US-backed slaughter in Gaza has killed over 18,000 Palestinians, including over 7,000 children. The White House has previously acknowledged “many, many thousands of innocent people” were being killed by Israel in Gaza.