White House on Differences between War Victims in Ukraine and Gaza

Tuesday, 19 December 2023

The White House has differentiated between the victims of Russia's aggressive war in Ukraine and Israel’s military operation against the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

John Kirby, White House National Security Council Coordinator, explained at a briefing the difference. The US official pointed out that, unlike the actions of Russians in Ukraine, Israelis do not engage in the killing, torture, and rape of the civilian population in Gaza as "a part of the war aims". This is not part of their plans, and they do not intentionally seek to harm civilians, Kirby claimed.

"But I think Ukraine – and what Putin is doing is not an apt comparison here. Torture, rape, slaughter of civilians, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, terrorizing an entire population – all of that is baked into Putin’s war plan, because he knows," Kirby said in response to a question about the violations of international law by the Israelis.

Kirby said that these actions by the Kremlin head are explained by the fact that he cannot defeat Ukraine "purely from a conventional military perspective" because Ukraine is "better armed, better command and control, better resourced".

"So what’s he do? He bombs energy infrastructure and tries to kill innocent civilians and try to break the will of the Ukrainian population. And it’s – we’re helping the Ukrainians document these war crimes by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian soil," Kirby added.

"And that is exactly the same approach that Hamas has chosen to execute when they violated a ceasefire that was in place on the 6th of October and paraglided into a concert and started slaughtering innocent people that were there to listen to some music, and murdering parents in front of their kids and vice versa. That was deliberate," the White House representative added.

Kirby also specified that the US is calling on Israel to be as careful as possible and conduct the military operation as precisely as possible when it comes to minimising civilian casualties.

Earlier, more than 130 employees of the US Department of Homeland Security asked the administration of President Joe Biden to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom and Germany insist that all sides must move towards a "two-state" solution – Israel and Palestine – when the hot phase of the war is over.

Earlier, four EU states proposed convening an international peace conference to implement the decision on two states – Israel and Palestine.

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