Israel’s response to the Sept. 7 attack by Hamas in Gaza has not been compromised by the United States, says a senior Israeli military official
The United States is now trying to send more of the smaller bombs to Israel, said the senior military official. If the United States can get those smaller munitions to Israel, American officials hope Israel will use them to mitigate the risk to civilians.
The New York Times analyzed satellite images, photos and videos from the day and concluded that the Israel used at least two thousand pound bombs in an air strike on the dense area.
Mr. Blinken urged Israel to agree to a series of pauses in the fighting to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the exit of foreign nationals from the enclave, but Mr. Netanyahu rebuffed the idea, saying any pauses would be contingent on the release of all Israeli hostages.
The Americans say Israel’s forceful response to the attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, in which more than 1,400 people were killed and more than 240 were taken hostage, reflects the importance that it places on re-establishing deterrence against attacks from adversaries in the region. The officials say the Israeli military is no longer as strong as it was.
The United States has increased the amount of intelligence it collects in the enclave, as well as redirecting its satellites to watch it. The United States is also using aircraft on the two carriers in the Mediterranean to help collect additional intelligence, including electronic intercepts.
While the United States has increased the amount of intelligence that it is sharing with Israel, U.S. officials stressed they are not helping Israel pick targets for strikes.
American officials believe the less judicious Israel is, and the greater the Palestinian death toll, the more quickly pressure will build on its leaders to end the military operation. The U.S. told them that a more focused campaign could last longer and cause more damage to the Hamas military wing.
When it came to the invasion of Gaza, Iddo Ben-Anat said, “We do our best to destroy Hamas, without harming the civilians.”
U.S. Representatives to the Palestinians in the West Bank: Implications for Israel and for the Security and Security of the Mideast
The Arab leaders met with Mr. Biden in Amman on Saturday and demanded an immediate cease-fire.
But Mr. Blinken publicly rebuffed the idea, saying, “It’s our view that a cease-fire now would simply leave Hamas in place, and able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7.”
Democratic lawmakers and terrorism experts have said the higher the civilian casualty toll, the greater the resentment that will build in Gaza, resentment that Hamas can use to build further support.
Representative Seth Moulton, Democrat of Massachusetts and an Iraq war veteran, said the America’s biggest mistake in that conflict was trying to provide “military solutions to fundamentally political problems.”
Israel will not be able to win the war against Hamas using military means alone, says Mr. Moulton. “And often the wrong military means, like bombs that kill too many civilians, make the political endgame harder to reach.”
While acknowledging Hamas needed to be defeated physically, Mr. Blinken argued for the international community to ensure that Hamas doesn’t gain more followers in the process.
The State Department gave informal notification of the sale last week to congressional committees, which ignited concerns and prompted requests for the department to ask Israel tougher questions about how it intends to use the arms. Officials working on human rights have expressed reservations about the orders being approved while those who oversee weapons sales intend to announce them, U.S. officials say.
The best solution to the conflict is a Palestinian state with Israel, according to both Mr. Biden and Mr. Blinken. Settler intimidation of Palestinians, leading to their displacement from strategic areas of the West Bank, makes any prospect of that much more difficult.
The State Department said that the two discussed ways to restore calm and stability in the West Bank, including the need to stop extremists from attacking Palestinians.
The violence in the West Bank by Israeli settlers who are trying to force Palestinians out of their land has been higher than it has been in the past.
The Israeli police are trying to increase their weapons arsenal after it was pledged that they would give thousands of weapons to Israelis in at least 1000 towns and cities. About 500,000 Israelis have moved to settlements there over many years, which, along with military checkpoints, fences and other measures of the Israeli government occupation, keep the area’s 2.7 million Palestinians living in separate small enclaves.