White House rejects accusations of Gaza genocide

Biden administration’s Jake Sullivan rejects claims Israel is committing ‘genocide’ in Gaza Strip, ahead of International Court of Justice hearing on South Africa’s accusations.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The Biden White House pushed back Monday on claims that Israel’s current war against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza constitutes an act of genocide.

Speaking to reporters at a press briefing in Washington D.C. on Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Israel has faced “an unusual, even unprecedented burden in fighting this war,” citing Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields and the group’s terrorist activities in hospitals and schools.

While the Biden administration believes Israel “can and must do more to ensure the protection and well-being of innocent civilians,” Sullivan emphasized that Israel’s intent was to defend itself, not to eliminate the civilian population of Gaza.

“We do not believe what is happening in Gaza is a genocide. We have been firmly on record rejecting that proposition.”

“We’re using the internationally accepted term for genocide, which includes a focus on intent. And it’s not just me standing here at this podium.”

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The statement comes just days before the International Court of Justice in The Hague is set to convene Thursday and Friday in response to accusations by South Africa that Israel is committing genocide in the Gaza Strip.

The Biden administration has rejected South Africa’s argument and defended Israel’s position, Sullivan said.

Sullivan downplayed tensions between the White House and Israel, saying that the suspension of an aerial ordinance shipment did not mark a full-scale arms embargo on Israel.

“We are continuing to send military assistance, and we will ensure that Israel receives the full amount provided in the supplemental.”

“We have paused a shipment of 2,000-pound bombs because we do not believe they should be dropped in densely populated cities. We are talking to the Israeli government about this.”

Turning to Israel’s plans for a comprehensive ground operation in the Hamas stronghold of Rafah, Sullivan reiterated the Biden administration’s opposition to such a move, claiming it would not provide a “clear strategic gain.”

“It would be a mistake to launch a major military operation into the heart of Rafah that would put huge numbers of civilians at risk without a clear strategic gain.”

“We are still working with Israel on a better way to ensure the defeat of Hamas everywhere in Gaza, including in Rafah.”

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