Biden Administration Does Not Consider Israeli Actions in Gaza as Genocide

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the Biden administration does not view Israeli killings of Palestinians in Gaza as genocide. The conflict has resulted in over 35,000 Palestinian deaths, with the UN urging a ceasefire and humanitarian aid.

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Nitish Verma
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US Rejects Genocide Claim in Gaza as Death Toll Tops 35,000

US Rejects Genocide Claim in Gaza as Death Toll Tops 35,000

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has stated that the Biden administration does not view the Israeli killings of Palestinians in Gaza as genocide. This statement comes amid an ongoing conflict that has resulted in a staggering death toll of over 35,000 Palestinians, according to the United Nations.

Why this matters: The ongoing conflict in Gaza has far-reaching implications for regional stability and global humanitarian efforts, and the US stance on the issue can influence international responses to similar crises. The conflict's resolution will also have significant consequences for the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations and the prospects for peace in the region.

The United Nations has reported that the overall number of fatalities in Gaza remains unchanged at more than 35,000 since the war broke out between Israel and Hamas on October 7, 2023. However, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) recently published a report with revised data regarding the number of Palestinian casualties, reducing the number of women and children believed to have been killed by nearly half.

The Gaza Ministry of Health has published two separate death tolls: an overall death toll and a total number of identified fatalities. As of April 30, 2024, the fully identified death toll comprises 7,797 children, 4,959 women, 1,924 elderly, and 10,006 men. The documentation process of casualties' full identification details is still ongoing.

The total number of dead does not include the approximately 10,000 people who are still missing and trapped under the rubble. Israel launched its military assault on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas killed at least 1,200 people in Israel and abducted more than 250 others.

The months-long siege of Gaza has pulverized large parts of the enclave and drastically diminished critical supplies, exposing the entire population of more than 2.2 million people to the risk of famine. Sullivan emphasized that the US wants to see Hamas defeated and urged a ceasefire. He also expressed concern about reports of Israeli settlers attacking humanitarian aid convoys, calling it "completely and utterly unacceptable behaviour."

President Joe Biden has faced criticism from his own supporters for his support of Israel, with some accusing Israel of committing genocide. In an interim ruling, the UN court ordered Israel to take protective measures to prevent genocide. Sullivan reiterated that there could be a ceasefire in Gaza now if Hamas would release hostages, and urged the world to call on Hamas to return to the negotiating table and accept a deal.

The devastating conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in an immense loss of life, with over 35,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza according to UN figures. As the US works urgently for a ceasefire and hostage-release deal, the full extent of the casualties continues to be documented. The siege has left Gaza's population at risk of famine, underscoring the urgent need for a resolution to this ongoing crisis.

Key Takeaways

  • US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan clarified the Biden administration's stance, stating Israeli actions in Gaza aren't viewed as genocide, despite a death toll exceeding 35,000 Palestinians, per the UN.
  • The Gaza conflict's repercussions extend beyond the region, impacting global humanitarian efforts and influencing international responses to crises, as well as shaping Israeli-Palestinian relations and regional peace prospects.
  • The UN reported over 35,000 deaths in Gaza since October 2023, with recent revisions reducing reported casualties among women and children.
  • Gaza's Ministry of Health documented casualties, including over 7,000 children, nearly 5,000 women, and over 10,000 men as of April 30, 2024, with ongoing identification efforts.
  • Thousands remain missing and trapped under rubble, adding to the conflict's human toll.