Civilian death toll in Gaza ‘far too high’

Henry

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, told Israel that the civilian death toll from its war against Hamas was “far too high” while at the same time calling on its ally to do more to alleviate the suffering of these people. relieved.

More than three months since the outbreak of the deadliest Gaza war yet, the US’s top diplomat met Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for his fourth visit to the Middle East since the conflict broke out.

Blinken renewed the US’s “support for Israel’s right” to prevent a repeat of the unprecedented Hamas attacks of October 7, said Blinken’s spokesman, Matthew Miller.

However, Blinken also stressed the “importance of preventing further harm to civilians and protecting civilian infrastructure in Gaza,” Miller said of the Hamas-controlled territory where a humanitarian crisis is deepening and local health officials have already killed more than 23,000 people reported.

The American minister later said at a media conference that “the daily toll on civilians in Gaza, especially children, is far too high” and more food, water and medicine are needed.

Israel has agreed that the United Nations (UN) may launch an assessment mission in northern Gaza to “determine what needs to be done to allow uprooted Palestinians to return safely”.

According to Miller, in his discussions with Netanyahu, Blinken also reiterated the need for long-lasting, sustainable peace for Israel and the region, “including the realization of a Palestinian state”.

Israel must stop its actions that undermine Palestinians’ ability to govern themselves, Blinken said.

An AFP correspondent reported on intense attacks overnight in Khan Yunis and Rafah, cities in the south of Gaza where many displaced people are hiding.

Israel’s military said its forces had killed 40 militants in the past 24 hours in ground and air strikes and that troops had seized assault rifles, rocket launchers and other weapons.

South Africa’s complaint of alleged genocide against Israel will meanwhile be heard on Thursday in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.