US backs Israel 'right to defend' itself, urges protection of civilians

AFP , Monday 3 Jul 2023

The United States said Monday that ally Israel had a right to "defend its people" against Islamist militants but called for protection of civilians after a major, deadly raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Matthew Miller
Matthew Miller, US State Department spokesperson AFP


"We support Israel's security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups," a State Department spokesperson said.

"It is imperative to take all possible precautions to prevent the loss of civilian lives," the spokesperson added.

The United States, Israel's primary ally, also called for a resumption of security cooperation between the Jewish state and Palestinian security forces.

President Joe Biden's administration has repeatedly called for restraint from both Israel and the Palestinians.

Washington has also criticized the hard-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over its growing settlements in the occupied territories, while stopping short of repercussions for Israeli decisions.

Eight people were reported dead in the raid in the northern city of Jenin in the biggest such Israeli operation in years, which involved armored vehicles, army bulldozers and drones.

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