The US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, engaged in a significant conversation with Israel's Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, where he emphasized the critical need for safeguarding civilian lives during ongoing operations in Gaza. The Pentagon issued a statement on Friday outlining the details of this conversation.
The call between the defense leaders comes against the backdrop of escalating tensions in the Gaza region, where conflict and violence have resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis. Secretary Austin's emphasis on protecting civilians underscores the international community's growing concern for the well-being of innocent residents caught in the crossfire.
Notably, the conversation occurred in the wake of rising concerns regarding civilian casualties, as it has been reported that more than 7,000 civilians have lost their lives during the conflict in Gaza due to Israel use of US made weapons. This staggering toll has prompted intensified calls for an immediate ceasefire and a reevaluation of military strategies.
The Pentagon statement did not delve into specific details of the conversation, but it is clear that the discussion encompassed the gravity of minimizing harm to non-combatants, ensuring the safe passage of humanitarian aid, and respecting international laws and norms governing conflict situations.