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US Defence Secretary Says Over 25,000 Women And Children Killed in Gaza

Source: Google

US Defence Secretary Says Over 25,000 Women And Children Killed in Gaza
Source: Google

According to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, over 25,000 women and children have been killed in Gaza.

It should be recalled that the Israel-Hamas war began on the 7th of October 2023 ---- when Hamas terrorists launched a deadly, invasive, and unaware attack that took the lives of 1200 Israelis and also took 250 people hostage.

Israel in retaliation has since then declared that it will eliminate Hamas completely.

In a speech during a congressional hearing on Thursday, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin was asked by Congressman Ro Khanna how many Palestinian women and children had been killed by Israel,

“It is over 25,000,” he responded.

Israel has been facing criticism over the targeting of populated areas leading to high civilian casualties, despite concerns raised by rights organisations and aid agencies. The International Court of Justice has been hearing a case of genocide against Israel led by South Africa.

The congressman further questioned Austin, highlighting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk’s assertion that any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel violated international law,

The defense secretary however was unable to provide a precise figure on how many transfers of precision-guided munitions the United States had sent to the Zionist nation.

“It’s about 21,000 precision-guided munitions,” said Khanna.

Media personality Piers Morgan reacted to the news on X (formerly Twitter) saying,

"If true, then Israel is lying about the number of Hamas terrorists the IDF is killing, and 80% of deaths in Gaza are innocent civilians.

Khanna pressing his questions asked Austin whether he would withdraw military assistance from Israel if it proceeded with a planned ground invasion of Rafah.

The defense secretary responded that there must be a “credible plan” to ensure the safety of the 1.5 million Palestinians sheltering in the southernmost city.

Khanna further asked whether Austin would halt military sales and deals to Israel if it invaded Rafah without a plan, the defense secretary however clarified that the decision to halt the deals is to be made by President Joe Biden.

“I expect that when we provide munitions to allies and partners, that they’ll use them in a responsible way,” he added.

Shortly after the hearing, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh refuted Austin’s estimate of the deaths of women and children.

She clarified that the data had come from the Gaza Ministry of Health rather than US intelligence.

“We cannot independently verify these Gaza casualty figures,” Singh said in a statement.

The Pentagon also clarified that Austin’s statement referred to the total number of Palestinians killed. On Thursday, the Health Ministry in Gaza had reported that the death toll had surpassed 30,000, including 12,300 children and 8,400 women.