US urges Israel to exercise caution amid escalating Gaza conflict
Israel has faced increasing calls from the United States to avoid causing further harm to Palestinian civilians in its fight against Hamas militants in Gaza. Despite the temporary ceasefire breaking, there is no sign of parties involved in the conflict moving towards a resumption of peace, as reported by Reuters.
As Israeli forces bombarded the enclave following the breakdown of a temporary truce, Vice President Kamala Harris stated that too many innocent Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin considered it a "moral responsibility" for Israel to protect civilians.
These comments from top U.S. officials on Saturday reinforced Washington's pressure on Israel to exercise caution as it intensifies its military offensive further south into the besieged Gaza Strip.
With renewed fighting extending into the third day after the ceasefire expiration, residents fear that air and artillery bombardments are a prelude to an Israeli ground operation in the southern part of the strip. This could confine them to an increasingly restricted area and potentially push them towards Egypt.
Gaza's Ministry of Health reported that at least 193 Palestinians have been killed since the one-week ceasefire ended on Friday, adding to the over 15,000 Palestinians who have died since the beginning of the war. Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas after the October 7th ravages in southern Israel, claiming 1,200 people were killed and over 200 taken hostage.
Speaking in Dubai, Kamala Harris affirmed Israel's right to self-defence but stressed the need to respect international humanitarian law. She expressed deep concern over the suffering of civilians, describing the images and videos coming from Gaza as devastating.
Translation by Iurie Tataru