White House: We don’t believe Israel is perpetrating genocide in Gaza war

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says President Joe Biden’s administration does not view the killings of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel during the war with Hamas as a genocide.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Sullivan says the US wants to see Hamas defeated, that Palestinians caught in the middle of the war were in “hell,” and that a major military operation by Israel in Rafah would be a mistake.

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

Reiterating a comment Biden made over the weekend, Sullivan says there could be a ceasefire in Gaza now if Hamas would release hostages.

The world should be calling on Hamas to return to the negotiating table and accept a deal, he says, adding that Washington is working urgently for a ceasefire and hostage release deal, but cannot predict when or if such an agreement will be sealed.

The war in Gaza erupted after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 252 hostages, mostly civilians, many in acts of brutality and sexual assault.

Health authorities in Gaza say over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ensuing war, though figures issued by the Hamas-run health ministry cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires.

An estimated 15,000 terror operatives have been killed in Gaza during the war, according to Israeli officials. The IDF also says it killed some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

The IDF says 267 soldiers have been killed during the ground offensive against Hamas and in operations along the Gaza border.

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