US asking Israel to avoid civilian displacements in any south Gaza offensive
The U.S. is asking Israel to take greater care to protect civilians and limit damage to infrastructure if it launches an offensive in southern Gaza to avoid further displacements that would overwhelm humanitarian efforts, senior U.S. officials said.
The Israeli offensive in northern Gaza has proven devastating, with thousands of Palestinians killed and vast numbers of survivors left homeless and forced to flee south by a relentless bombing campaign and a lack of essentials such as food, power and water.
As Israel begins to look toward south Gaza to continue battling Hamas militants after a pause in fighting to release hostages, U.S. officials said they have been talking to the Israelis about taking greater care in the south, where there were now about 2 million people.
The message has been delivered from President Joe Biden on down, the officials told reporters on a conference call.