US State Department Warns Diplomats Not To Call For "De-Escalation" In Gaza
"The United States stands with Israel," US president Joe Biden reiterated on Friday.
Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the US State Department has asked diplomats working on Middle East issues to not make public statements suggesting that the United States wants to see less violence. The internal emails, exclusively viewed by HuffPost, were sent on Friday, hours after Israel asked over 1.1 million residents of northern Gaza to leave their homes and not return till further notice as Israel mounts its biggest counteroffensive on Gazan soil in decades.
According to the message, the State Department staff wrote that high-level officials do not want press materials to include three specific phrases: "de-escalation/ceasefire," "end to violence/bloodshed" and "restoring calm", the outlet reported.
Notably, the revelation of the internal email shows the Biden administration's reluctance to push for Israeli restraint as they escalate its attacks on Gaza. In recent days, US President Joe Biden has also given several strongly worded speeches pledging support for Israel. Separately, when asked about Israel's evacuation order on Friday, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby declined to reject or endorse it, calling it "a tall order".
"We're going to be careful not to get into armchair quarterbacking the tactics on the ground by the [Israel Defense Forces]," Mr Kirby said, as per the outlet. "What I can tell you is we understand what they're trying to do. They're trying to move civilians out of harm's way and giving them fair warning," he added.
Also Read | Israel Strikes Kill Top Hamas Commander As Netanyahu Issues Fresh Warning
On Friday, Joe Biden also called Hamas operatives worse than al-Qaeda. The more we learn about the attack, the more horrifying it becomes. More than 1,000 innocent lives lost, including at least 27 Americans," the US President said, adding, "These guys make - they make al-Qaeda look pure. They're pure evil. Like I said from the beginning, the United States, make no mistake about it, stands with Israel. The United States stands with Israel".
Further, Mr Biden also reiterated his support for Israel. "We're making sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself and respond to these attacks. It's also a priority for me to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza," he said.
Notably, since Saturday, the attack has killed more than 1,300 people in Israel while the Israeli counter-airstrikes have killed more than 1,530 people in Gaza. Israel has claimed roughly 1,500 Hamas militants were killed inside Israel.