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US asking Israel 'hard questions' on Gaza military assault: White House

Washington: White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday would not acknowledge differences between the US and Israel over the military assault on Gaza, but emphasized that Washington was being candid with its ally.

Faced with growing outcry over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza since the deadly Oct. 7 attacks inside Israel by Hamas militants, Sullivan said, “We do not stand for the killing of innocent people, whether it be Palestinian, Israeli or otherwise.

Israeli forces are expanding ground operations in Gaza while their fighter jets have struck hundreds more Hamas targets on Sunday in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the second phase of a three-week-old war.

Asked if there was any “daylight” between the two allies on Israel’s military operation, Sullivan told CBS’ “Face the Nation” they were discussing hard questions, humanitarian aid, distinguishing between terrorists and innocent civilians, how Israel is thinking through its military operation.

“We talk candidly, we talked directly, we share our views and an unvarnished way and we will continue to do that,” Sullivan said.

“But sitting here in public, I will just say that the United States is going to make its principles and propositions absolutely clear, including the sanctity of innocent human life. And then we will continue to provide our advice to Israel in private.”

Medical authorities in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of 2.3 million people, say 8,005 Palestinians – including 3,324 minors – have been killed in Israel’s campaign to obliterate the Iran-backed militants.

(Published 29 October 2023, 14:09 IST)

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