Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Sunday said he thinks Israeli attacks against militant group Hamas in Gaza are “getting more targeted” after Israeli forces began surrounding Gaza City in recent days.
Asked by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Shannon Bream for his reaction to Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Isaac Herzog’s claim that Israeli forces are “very targeted in what we do,” Warner said, “My reaction is clearly Israel has a right to defend itself and Hamas has been using human shields.”
“But the images don’t lie. We’ve seen for weeks at some level indiscriminate Israeli bombing, particularly in terms of artillery and some of the plane bombings,” Warner continued. “I think now that the troops have surrounded Gaza City, I think they are getting more targeted.”
Israeli troops nearly a week ago encircled Gaza City, cutting off northern Gaza, to engage in on-the-ground fighting with Hamas fighters. The move marked a significant step in Israel’s counteroffensive against Hamas, which killed over 1,200 people is Israel on Oct. 7 in a surprise assault against the Jewish state.
Since then, Israel has launched hundreds of air strikes and bombings into the region. The siege has largely cut off food, water, fuel and medical supplies for the nearly 2.3 million Palestinians who live in Gaza. Israel’s attacks have claimed the lives of over 11,070 Palestinians since the war broke out last month, according to the Hamas-ruled Health Ministry in Gaza.
Warner was among 14 Democratic senators earlier this month who called for a short-term “cessation of hostilities” in Gaza to protect non-combatant civilians and has previously expressed concerns Israel is not being precise enough in its strikes of Gaza.
Warner stressed the importance of pauses in fighting in Gaza to let people trapped in the violence escape. Last week, Israel agreed to four-hour pauses each day to allow for the evacuation of civilians from the conflict zone.
“We are holding Israel obviously to a higher standard than Hamas,” Warner said. “It’s a civilized nation. And that’s why I think it’s important — both the pauses and to make sure as much as possible they’re targeting.”
The Biden administration in recent days has increased calls of support for a humanitarian pause in Gaza that includes a temporary, “localized” break in fighting to allow aid to get into Gaza or civilians to get out.
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