We are gravely concerned by reports today of strikes hitting a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facility — with subsequent reports of fires in the building—in a neighborhood in southern Gaza where more than 30,000 displaced Palestinians had reportedly been sheltering. While we don’t yet have all the details on what happened and will continue to seek further information regarding today’s incidents, the loss of every innocent life is a tragedy. This conflict has already resulted in the devastating deaths and injuries of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, and we mourn every single civilian life that has been lost. It’s heartbreaking to see children killed, injured, and orphaned. The United States is unwavering in our support for Israel’s right to defend itself, consistent with international humanitarian law, against Hamas terrorists who hide among the civilian population and want to annihilate the State of Israel. But Israel retains a responsibility to protect civilians, including, humanitarian personnel and sites. And, as President Biden has been clear from the earliest days of this crisis, the United States will also continue working to increase life-saving humanitarian assistance into Gaza and to bring home all of the hostages held there.


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