White House: ‘Difficult to Say’ How Close Israel Is to Being Like Hamas

On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby stated that while you can’t equate Israel’s actions to Hamas launching the October 7 attack, “it’s difficult to say” how close Israel is to becoming indistinguishable from Hamas.

Host Wolf Blitzer asked, “You heard Secretary Blinken earlier today, suggest — he warned that there’s a real risk the way Israel is waging its war in Gaza right now is making it indistinguishable from Hamas. How close is Israel to that point?”

Kirby responded, “Well, it’s difficult to say on a scale like that. We have to remember, Hamas — there was a ceasefire in place on the 6th of October. Hamas broke it. Mr. Sinwar chose to start this war. Mr. Sinwar and the Hamas fighters choose to bury themselves under hospitals and civilian infrastructure, use the innocent people of Gaza as human shields. They are increasingly placing innocent Palestinians at greater risk as well. I think we can’t equate what they did on the 7th of October to the kinds of operations that Israel is conducting. That said, and we’ve been clear about this too, it’s not just the right and responsibility of the IDF to go after Hamas, it’s the way they do it that matters, and it’s the way they’ve been doing it in recent weeks and months that [has] caused increasing frustration by us in terms of the civilian casualties, the damage to civilian infrastructure, and now, the potential impact on humanitarian organizations being fearful of moving into Gaza.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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