State Department Refuses to Condemn Israel Shooting Group of Palestinians Waving White Flag

One Palestinian was killed, and the US says it's up to the IDF to determine if the incident should be investigated

The State Department on Wednesday refused to condemn the shooting of unarmed Palestinian men waving a white flag in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, a scene that was captured on video by the UK’s ITV News.

The footage shows an interview with a group of Palestinian men who had their hands raised and said they were trying to locate and rescue their family members. The cameraman then went across the street, and the video shows the men walking down the street with their hands still raised and one holding a white flag.

The man came under fire, and one was killed. A Palestinian videographer who was at the scene told NBC News that the fire came from nearby Israeli tanks. NBC reported that it viewed and verified nine videos of the incident and said the killing took place in an area Israel designated as a “safe zone.”

A reporter for ITV confronted State Department spokesman Vedant Patel about the killing and asked if he would consider it a potential war crime. Patel said he needed more context.

“I have seen that footage, but I am not going to comment on the specifics around that given I’m not aware of the full circumstances on the ground,” Patel said. He continued, saying Israel’s onslaught in Gaza is not an “American operation,” but the US has provided unconditional military aid, intelligence support, and political cover for the slaughter, which has killed over 25,000 Palestinians.

Asked if he would support an investigation into the killing, Patel said it was up to the Israeli military. “That is for the IDF to undertake and to determine based on the circumstances of that situation,” he said.

Patel was also asked about the Israeli tank shelling of a UN shelter in Khan Younis, which occurred on Wednesday. He claimed the US “deplores” the attack but refused to say if the US would discuss it with Israel. “I’m not going to read out every single conversation that we have with the Israelis, ” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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