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U.S. says civilian suffering in Gaza has been too high

The United States has expressed concern over the high level of civilian suffering in Gaza amid escalating violence between Israel and Hamas. The conflict has resulted in numerous casualties and widespread destruction, prompting calls for an immediate ceasefire. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in a significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure in Gaza. The United States has criticized the high level of civilian suffering, calling for an end to the violence and a negotiated resolution to the conflict. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "The loss of life and violence in Gaza is deeply saddening. It is clear that the suffering of civilians in Gaza has been too high, and we call for an immediate ceasefire." The statement also emphasized the need for both sides to take steps to protect civilians and avoid further escalation. Blinken added, "All parties have an obligation to ensure the protection of civilians and abide by international humanitarian law." The conflict erupted after weeks of tensions in Jerusalem, fueled by the planned evictions of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The situation escalated further when Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, one of Islam's holiest sites, during the holy month of Ramadan, leading to clashes with Palestinian worshippers. Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, responded by launching rockets into Israel, which prompted Israeli airstrikes in retaliation. The violence quickly spiraled out of control, resulting in the deaths of more than 200 Palestinians, including numerous women and children, and 12 Israelis. The United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres warning that the fighting could plunge the region into an "uncontainable" crisis. The international community has also expressed growing concern over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, as access to basic necessities such as food, water, and medical supplies becomes increasingly limited. The U.S. has been actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to the violence. Secretary Blinken recently spoke with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as regional partners, in an effort to broker a truce. The U.S. has long been a staunch ally of Israel, but Blinken emphasized that the Biden administration is committed to promoting peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians. He stated, "The United States remains committed to a two-state solution. This includes a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement that ensures the dignity, security, and rights of both Israelis and Palestinians." Despite these diplomatic efforts, the situation on the ground remains volatile. Both sides have shown a willingness to continue fighting, with neither appearing willing to back down. The Israeli military has maintained that it is targeting militant infrastructure in Gaza, including Hamas rocket launchers and tunnels, in an effort to protect Israeli civilians. However, the high number of civilian casualties has raised concerns about the proportionality of their actions. Hamas, on the other hand, has been widely criticized for its indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli population centers. The use of civilian infrastructure, such as residential buildings, to launch these attacks has further exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. As the conflict continues to escalate, the international community is stepping up efforts to address the humanitarian situation and promote a lasting peace. The U.S. has pledged $38 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza, which will provide emergency food assistance, medical supplies, and support for the Palestinian people. The Biden administration has also voiced support for a two-state solution, which would involve the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. This has been a longstanding goal of the international community, but one that has proven difficult to achieve amid ongoing violence and political divisions. In the meantime, the United States and other international actors are continuing to push for an immediate ceasefire and a return to negotiations. The goal is to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza, stabilize the region, and work towards a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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