Biden urges Israel to ‘be more careful’ to save Gaza lives

US President Joe Biden urges Israel to take more care to protect civilians in Gaza, amid a White House push to have Israel scale down its offensive against the terror group Hamas in the near future.

“I want them to be focused on how to save civilian lives — not stop going after Hamas, but be more careful,” Biden tells reporters after an event at a medical research center near Washington.

Biden aide Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, is in Israel today and tomorrow for meetings with Israeli officials. He says he held “intense, detailed conversations” with Israeli officials on transitioning away from high-intensity fighting in Gaza, and focusing on more precise battles and targeting top Hamas officials.

Earlier this week, Biden said Israel was losing global support in the war against Hamas due to “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza, remarks that his aides have since tried to soften.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby suggested yesterday that some of the steps the Israeli military has taken to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza might go further than what the US would have done if it were in Israel’s place.

And Sullivan, in an interview with Israeli TV, said today that Israel has an “unbelievable burden” of needing to “operate in a way against a foe that is entrenched among the civilian population, using citizens as human shields.”

“The president was saying that Israel’s intent is to conduct that campaign in a way that distinguishes between innocent Palestinians and Hamas. And what he would like to see, as this campaign unfolds, is that the results of the bombing campaign and the ground campaign match that intent. That’s what we will continue to encourage the Israeli government to do, he said.

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