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US Defence Secy Austin says ‘don’t have evidence’ of Israel committing genocide in Gaza

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 April 2024, 8:18 IST
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin (left)

Washington, DC: Rejecting accusations that Israel carried out a genocide in Gaza, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said there was no 'evidence' of it.

Blinken and Austin Address Gaza Situation

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticised the international community for failing to hold Hamas accountable, while US Defence Secretary Austin denied claims that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza, according to The Times of Israel.

Officials Deny Genocide Claims

Both officials insisted that Israel must guarantee long-term improvements to the humanitarian situation in the enclave. "We don't have any evidence of genocide being created," Austin said in testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee regarding US President Joe Biden's latest budget request, The Times of Israel reported.

Controversy Over Genocide Accusations Against Israel

Austin's statement came a day after Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren shared a video on her social media handle, asserting that the International Court of Justice should find Israel guilty of genocide because there was 'ample evidence'.

Austin Labels Hamas Actions as War Crimes

Austin referred to the horrors carried out by Hamas on October 7 as a 'war crime' but refrained from calling them a genocide at the hearing on Tuesday.

Disruptions by Protesters at Defense Hearing

Austin made these remarks during a session that was often disrupted by far-left protesters yelling at him to cease supplying Israel with arms, The Times of Israel reported.

Senatorial Concern Over Civilian Deaths

They raised their hands, stained in red, in the air and yelled, "Stop the genocide." Several senators expressed their outrage at the civilian deaths and insisted that more was needed to be done by the administration to put pressure on Israel to save the Gaza population.

Continuing Hostage Crisis

Six months have elapsed since Hamas launched a brutal onslaught on Israel, resulting in widespread devastation and loss of life. Despite the passage of time, 134 hostages remain in Hamas' captivity, their fate hanging in the balance amidst ongoing efforts to secure their release.

(With ANI inputs)

First published: 10 April 2024, 8:18 IST