Israel-Hamas war: US asks Netanyahu govt to explain why it attacked Gaza's biggest refugee camp, say reports
The United States has sought an explanation from Israel over the attack on the refugee camp in northern Gaza's Jabalia, which claimed around 195 civilian lives, reports said on November 4.
Apart from the 195 killed in the Israeli strike on October 31, an estimated 120 others were feared to be under the rubble, the Gaza health ministry had said, adding that 777 others were wounded. The site which was attacked is the biggest refugee camp in Gaza.
"The US asked for an explanation of the first (attack) on Jabalia," an official of the Joe Biden administration told Politico, on the condition of anonymity. The explanation was sought during a conversation in which Washington conveyed to Tel Aviv to “do more to avoid civilian casualties", the official reportedly added.
An official statement from the White House was awaited by the time the preliminary reports emerged.
US President Joe Biden has been pushing for a “temporary pause" to the conflict over the past week. This comes amid the demand raised by a number of Middle East countries, including America's staunchest allies such as the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for a ceasefire.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far dismissed the calls for a ceasefire, saying that his forces would withdraw from the offensive only when Hamas releases all the hostages from captivity.
Biden, however, is of the view that a temporary pause is needed to safely evacuate the hostages. Washington is reportedly using diplomatic channels with Qatar and Jordan in a bid to secure the release of around 200 hostages, held by the Palestinian militant group.
Hamas, in a statement issued last month, said it was ready to release all the hostages safely if Israel frees the Palestinian prisoners lodged in its jails. Netanyahu outrightly rejected the offer.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has red-flagged the alleged excesses being committed by the Israeli forces. It has called the situation in Gaza as a “humanitarian catastrophe" and has appealed for an immediate end to the hostilities.
"Given the high number of civilian casualties and the scale of destruction following Israeli air strikes on Jabalia refugee camp, we have serious concerns that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights posted on social media platform X.