U.S. Defense Secretary Denounces Israel’s Strike on Aid Workers in Gaza

U.S. Defense Secretary Denounces Israel’s Strike on Aid Workers in Gaza

In a tense telephone name on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III upbraided his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, over Israel’s lethal assault on a humanitarian meals convoy in Gaza earlier this week.

“Secretary Austin expressed his outrage on the Israeli strike on a World Central Kitchen humanitarian assist convoy that killed seven assist staff, together with an American citizen,” Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, stated in a press release Wednesday evening, describing the telephone name.

“Secretary Austin pressured the necessity to instantly take concrete steps to guard assist staff and Palestinian civilians in Gaza after repeated coordination failures with international assist teams,” General Ryder stated.

While Mr. Austin’s feedback echoed President Biden’s forceful language – “outraged and heartbroken” — in regards to the killing of the help staff, they nonetheless marked a big change within the American secretary’s tone from that of earlier calls with Mr. Gallant that the Pentagon has summarized. The two males, each former Army generals, have spoken greater than 40 occasions for the reason that Hamas-led Oct. 7 assaults on Israel.

Despite the robust language, there was no indication that Mr. Austin threatened to halt the circulate of American munitions or place circumstances on U.S. weapons gross sales to Israel, as many congressional Democrats at the moment are urging. In that sense, Mr. Austin loses nothing by speaking robust.

The secretary’s anger over the Israel airstrike on the humanitarian convoy comes every week after the 2 males sparred in personal conferences in Washington over Israel’s plan to invade the southern metropolis of Rafah, the place U.S. officers have warned {that a} main navy motion might result in disaster.

At that assembly on March 26, Mr. Gallant emphasised what he stated was the pressing have to destroy Hamas, safe the discharge of Israelis taken hostage within the Oct. 7 assaults and “guarantee Israel’s navy edge and capabilities.” Mr. Austin centered on the dire penalties a significant fight operation in Rafah would have on Palestinian civilians.

In the telephone name on Wednesday, Mr. Austin urged Mr. Gallant to conduct a swift and clear investigation of the strike on the convoy, to share their conclusions publicly, and to carry these accountable to account, General Ryder stated, a requirement made earlier by White House officers.

The secretary stated that “this tragedy strengthened the expressed concern over a possible Israeli navy operation in Rafah, particularly specializing in the necessity to make sure the evacuation of Palestinian civilians and the circulate of humanitarian assist,” General Ryder stated.

Mr. Austin pressured to Mr. Gallant that Israel’s assault on the humanitarian convoy makes it harder to carry desperately wanted assist into Gaza, which the secretary stated have to be elevated within the coming days, particularly in northern Gaza, to avert famine, General Ryder stated.



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