Israel’s indiscriminate bombings of Palestinian civilians causing rapid deterioration of West’s support, Biden warns
By Belle Carter // Dec 21, 2023

During a fundraising event on Dec. 12, U.S. President Joe Biden warned that Israel is starting to lose international support over its "indiscriminate bombing" of civilians in its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

"Israel's security can rest on the United States, but right now it has more than the United States. It has the European Union, it has Europe, it has most of the world supporting them," Biden said. "They're starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place." Even United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the recent situation as having "a staggering and unacceptable number of civilian casualties," while Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed, saying "far too many" Palestinians have been killed. (Related: U.S. denounces Israel's expanded military operations amid rising civilian deaths in Gaza.)

Despite continuing to express his full-fledged support, Biden suggested that the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu change his "conservative" government because it is making everything very difficult. He also said that Israel "can't say no" to a Palestinian state, which Israeli hardliners, including in Netanyahu's government, have opposed.

Biden, his government and the United Nations may be getting a little tired of the criticisms of them approving the unsystematic air strikes and ground attacks, which do not only sacrifice the lives of Palestinian military and civilians but their people as well. Now, governments from around the world and media outlets have presented to the public that Israel is attacking hospitals, schools, refugee camps and humanitarian facilities, with a blatant disregard for civilian life. Because of this, people worldwide have been demanding a ceasefire. Even the pope from the Vatican is also calling for a humanitarian pause.

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At the moment, Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said it will continue the war in Gaza "with or without international support" because a ceasefire at this stage would be "a gift" to Hamas. Meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Wednesday that the Gaza-ruling Palestinian faction is ready to discuss with Israel any arrangement or initiative that could lead to a ceasefire in the enclave. "We are open to discuss any arrangement or initiative that could end the [Israeli] aggression," Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, said in a televised speech aired on Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV, adding that without Hamas, any arrangement regarding the future of Gaza would not succeed.

To try to answer the question of whether so many civilian deaths and injuries are indeed too many, Newsweek spoke to active and retired Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and U.S. military and intelligence officers, who requested anonymity, and most of them criticized the conduct of the war. The news portal also spoke to several prominent human rights experts and has reviewed Israeli and American classified data relating to the conflict. The casualty numbers that are emerging from Gaza are startling and the images are heartbreaking. But based on new and exclusive data about the magnitude of Israel's attacks, the number of Palestinian casualties, while high, does not appear to be disproportionate by the kind of measures used in international law: not in terms of the number of weapons used by Israel, the number of targets hit, the nature of Hamas or the unique features of the Gaza Strip, with its exceptionally high population density. U.S. military sources, many of whom are critical of much of Israel's conduct, agree.

U.S. Air Force officer: Israel is arrogant

For a U.S. Air Force officer who has been involved in internal deliberations within the Biden administration and discussions with his Israeli counterparts, part of the problem in the end is Israel's arrogance.

"Even to us, in private and candid conversations, they have referred to the Hamas surprise attack and its brutality, they have invoked the Holocaust, they have blamed Hamas, they have referred to 9/11 and argued the 'Never Again' justification for their unforgiving operation," the source revealed. "The simple truth is Israel has lost the information war because it has destroyed so much, even if they can justify each attack."

More than 18,000 people have been killed and nearly 50,000 others wounded in the Israeli assault on Gaza since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health officials. Many more dead are uncounted under the rubble or beyond the reach of ambulances. According to information never before published, Israel has attacked some 25,000 targets in Gaza, from the air, ground and sea, delivering some 140,000 weapons, 60 percent of them artillery rounds and 40 percent of weapons dropped from aircraft. Palestinian authorities reported that some 10,000 buildings have been destroyed, including high-rise apartments, with almost ten times as many damaged.

"Israel has been precise in its bombing and has caused enormous civilian damage," a senior U.S. military intelligence officer who is involved in analysis of the war said.

Former director of Human Rights Watch Ken Roth said that it is hard to believe that such widespread destruction was necessary to address the threat from Hamas, adding that Israel could have and should have pursued different strategies to eliminate Hamas.

As per international law, proportionality requires armed forces to refrain from attacks that would inflict incidental civilian harm "excessive about the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated to be gained." Attacking forces must take "feasible" precautions to reduce the risk to civilians.?As the United States Department of Defense said in its manuals, "Proportionality and precautions are intensely fact-bound. Civilian harm, military advantage and feasibility are difficult to quantify. Their application often depends on the circumstances on the ground, at a fleeting moment, during the chaos of war."

Head over to  IsraelCollapse.com for more updates on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Sources for this article include:

AlJazeera.com

BBC.com

English.news.cn

Newsweek.com



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