Not drawing red lines for…’ US says after Tel Aviv intensifies attack on Gaza
As Israel stepped up its air and ground offensive in Gaza, the United States said it is not trying to dictate limits for Tel Aviv, reported Reuters.
At a news briefing, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that he would not comment on the expansion of Israel's ground operation in the besieged enclave. Follow Israel-Hamas war LIVE updates here.
Kirby, however, added that Washington supports Tel Aviv's right to defend itself after the attack by Hamas on October 7. "We are not drawing red lines for Israel," he said.
Kirby pointed out that the United States continued to discuss Israel's aims of its operation, the need to protect civilians in Gaza, the effort to gain the safe return of Israeli hostages and the need to consider what comes after ground operations in Gaza.
"Since the very beginning, we have had and will continue to have conversations with them about the manner in which they're doing this. And we have not been shy about expressing our concerns over civilian casualties, collateral damage, and the approach that they might choose to take. That's what friends can do, and we are friends," he said, according to Reuters.
Israeli Defence Forces on Friday night stepped up their bombardment in the Gaza Strip. Tel Aviv also knocked out the internet and communications in the besieged enclave, cutting off nearly 2.3 million people from contacting each other as well as the outside world.
Israel's chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari admitted that Tel Aviv has intensified the attacks in Gaza "to achieve the objectives of the war”, raising expectations that the long-anticipated ground invasion could be starting.
Multiple organisations, including the World Health Organization, said they have completely lost contact with their people in Gaza and all its teams operating on the ground in Gaza.
The war between Israel and Palestine's Hamas militant group entered its 22nd day on Saturday. Over 8,500 people have died on both sides.
The Hamas-led Health Ministry said at least 7,300 Palestinians have been killed in the retaliatory airstrikes carried out by Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza since October 7.