After weeks of silence on the ongoing Hamas bombardment of Israeli cities, the Obama administration called the accidental killing of three boys on a Gaza Strip beach “horrifying” and criticized Israel for what the White House sees as lax standards on the part of the IDF.
“This tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. ”We will continue to underscore that point to Israel.”
Asked whether the president believes Israel has done enough to prevent civilian casualties, Psaki said: “We believe that certainly there’s more that can be done.”
Psaki added a word of criticism for Hamas, saying the administration has “not made any secret about our strong concern about the actions of Hamas, the indiscriminate rocket attacks, the targeting of civilians,” but stopped short of blaming Hamas for the conflict.
In addition to the White House, Secretary of State John Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and called on Israel to focus the ground and air attacks on smuggling tunnels. He also said he hoped the operation would be conducted as precisely as possible.
For comparison purposes:
Between 2001-2014, some 21,000 to 23,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.
Between 2001-2014, 20,000 to 30,000 civilians were killed in Pakistan.
Between 2001-2014, 133,000 to 147,000 civilians were killed in Iraq.
All these civilians were all killed by U.S., French, British and German forces.